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Among the chattels which belonged to the Singer heiress was this George III giltwood and marble topped side table, 2ft 11in high by 2ft 33/4in deep by 5ft 51/2in (89 x 70.5cm x 1.69m) which had resided in the breakfast room of her Georgian Gothic mansion, Donnington Grove.

It was pursued by several dealers, American and British, until it sold on the telephone to Partridge Fine Arts at £350,000. “When furniture is that good, you have to play it by ear,” said John Partridge, when asked how far he had been prepared to bid.

Other highlights from the £1.56m sale included a neo-classical marquetry pair of D-shaped side tables attributed to John Linnell, which sold to an American dealer on the telephone at £260,000.