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Commenting on a success rate of nearly 80 per cent, managing director Christopher King admitted: “The bottom end of the furniture market was a bit of a struggle.”

There was enough furniture in the middle ranges to counter this common problem but pride of place was taken by a large 19th century musical automaton picture clock. Stamped P.L. Hausburg. A. Paris, the 3ft 5in by 2ft 6in (1.04m x 76cm), piece, with a typically romantic rural view of river, church, and busy village activity at sunset, was well painted and had a complicated automaton mechanism.

The moving parts included a farrier shoeing a horse, a blacksmith at the anvil, a bellows worker, two horse-drawn carts and a coach crossing the bridge.

A window in the farrier’s workshop was additionally illuminated by a later electric light behind the large original gilt ornate frame and glass. Privately consigned by a local solicitor, it was underbid by the London trade and sold to a private collector at a lower estimate £12,500.

One of the most sought after pieces of furniture was a 19th century secretaire library bookcase.

Consigned from a Chichester office, the 8ft 3in by 5ft 5in (2.57 x 1.65m) illustrated middle right, was in fairly poor condition but nevertheless went to the Irish trade at £8000.

In better condition was a Regency rosewood sofa table with a satinwood and line inlaid crossbanded top that brought £2400 and a mid-Victorian figured burr walnut serpentine credenza that fetched £4000.

The silver section had its highlights, such as a George III urn, by Andrew Fogelberg, London 1784, 108ozs, consigned from a private Sussex vendor.

With ram’s mask handles and square pedestal, each side was decorated with an oval medallion enclosing putti feasting on grapes or wrestling above an engraved armorial.

Not as commercial as flatware, this urn was bought by the trade against a private buyer at £3000.

The sale of a set of four late Victorian candlesticks, by T. Bradbury & Sons, Sheffield, 1891, at £1800 prompted Christopher King to say: “There has been no great appreciation in the value of silver for a number of years.”
But in contrast to silver, good quality furniture and decorative works of art have seen a rise in price as demand increases, and at Chichester a decorative pair of 19th century carved giltwood lions brought £950.

Henry Adams, Chichester,
March 14
Number of lots offered: 412
Number of lots sold: 332
Sale total: £164,000
Buyer’s premium:
15 per cent