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This is partly because of the difficulties all auctioneers are facing in filling their sales with good-quality privately entered material and partly because of the group’s policy whereby all the best Continental entries are sent to London and all the fine oak furniture to their Chester salerooms.

This being so, the Leeds auctioneers could take some satisfaction from being able to offer first-class Victorian and Edwardian furniture and the reactions it triggered. The day’s highlight was a mid-Victorian kingwood and marquetry bureau plat, 4ft 1in by 2ft 11/2 in by 2ft 6in (1.23m x 64cm x 75cm).

Consigned from a private Whitby source, this decorative entry appealed to the private Irish buyer who outbid the London trade when he paid a double-estimate £11,500. Although unstamped, the quality of the construction indicated a cabinet making firm of the likes of Edwards & Roberts or E.H. Baldock.

The name of the noted and prized Victorian and Edwardian cabinetmakers Edwards and Roberts came up again when an Edwardian inlaid mahogany display cabinet, stamped and labelled for the firm in a drawer, was knocked down at £4300 to a private Lincolnshire buyer.

A last-minute entry bumped up the sale total, when a Regency mahogany dining table in three sections – one end section of later date – sold to a private West Yorkshire bidder at a mid-estimate £3800.

One of three entries from a Leeds deceased estate provided another top price. This was an early 19th century walnut bureau with a chequer banded fall front which nudged past its upper estimate and sold to the South West trade at £3800.

The market for longcase clocks remains as strong as ever with the best example at Leeds attracting American interest as well as widespread private and trade competition.

An early 19th century, 7ft 10in (2.35m) high case in mahogany strung with box wood and inlaid penwork panels with spandrels depicting the four seasons, was consigned from Leeds by a vendor fed up with being burgled (and, yes, even hefty longcases get taken by burglars these days).

Signed by the well-established clockmakers J. Twyford, Manchester, it sold at £6500 to a London private buyer on one of six telephones.

Phillips, Leeds, December 5
Number of lots offered: 193
Number of lots sold: 132
Sale total: £141,700
Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent