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“In ten years of selling, I think this was the best sale I’ve seen here,” he added. “We’ve had problems with the mid-range all year but not this time.”

Based in a largely agricultural area, the auctioneers have found that holding the sale at 6pm on a Friday pulls in large numbers of private buyers as well as dealers and it was a private bid of £4000 which beat off trade interest in the cassone from London, Italy and even the British Virgin Islands. Made from yew and elaborately decorated with mythical scenes and a large amount of pokerwork, the cassone had come from a local deceased estate – “quite a small house,” said Mr Gamble. In generally good condition and with“excellent” colour, the cassone carried hopes of up to £1200.

Other furniture successes in the 420-lot sale included a Georgian oak dresser sourced from a local farmhouse. Although the feet had lost a few inches after being cut down, this was a “good chunky” piece and brought a top estimate £2100. A Victorian walnut credenza also found favour in the saleroom.

From a local deceased estate, the piece was in good condition and estimated at £1200-1500. Against strong competition, it fell to the
solicitor handling the estate for £2050.