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The description of the set as ‘Victorian style’ was certainly true, but hardly glamorous. Estimated at £2000-3000, the set was taken at £2300 by the trade and should repay being split into two sets of eight and one of six.

Other seating furniture included a 19th century set of nine (missing one carver) mahogany dining chairs with pierced, Chippendale-style splats, which realised £1850, a Victorian set of eight walnut dining chairs with lobed leaf carved crestings and yellow velvet covers which attracted £920, and a 19th century set of eight walnut and gilt metal mounted salon chairs à la Louis XV which had been re-polished and hence brought only £600.

However, the premier dining room furnishing and highest priced object in the sale, a 15ft (4.55m) Victorian mahogany dining table, estimated at £4000-6000, failed to sell.

Elsewhere, a 19th century Louis XVI-style walnut pier table with gilt metal mounts, 4ft 8in (1.44m) wide, would have made much more than £1200 had it not been stripped and regilded.

The finest period entry was a George III mahogany gentleman’s press with crossbanded, reeded and ebonised cupboard doors enclosing sliding trays on a base of two short and two long drawers. It mustered £1300 from the trade.

Finally, and just to prove that eccentric occasional furniture does not have to cost the earth, an Edwardian mahogany cake stand with folding glazed shelves, offered with a mahogany boot cupboard of the same period sold for only £250.

Phillips, Sevenoaks, April 10
Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent