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Alongside a collection of eight portraits by Arthur Devis (1711-1787) – one of the largest groups of work by the artist to be offered since the Tritton Collection at Godmersham Park, Kent in the late 1970s – will be this 18th century rococo chair that once formed part of the Percival Griffiths collection of English furniture.

Robert Wemyss Symonds, on whose advice Griffiths collected, described the chance discovery of the chair in an article in Country Life in 1952. He wrote: “During the summer, and at the weekends, [Percival Griffiths and I] frequently went out motoring. One day we stopped at a second-hand shop in Buckinghamshire and asked the owner if he had any furniture. He had not, but he told us he knew a lady who owned an old chair, and offered to take us to see it. We arrived at a small country villa, and were told that the chair was not for sale. We were shown into the drawing room, and there, amid the clutter of Victorian furniture, stood a magnificent 18th century baroque chair. It was made of the hardest Cuban mahogany, the strength of which accounted for the elegance of the frame.”

On leaving the house, Griffiths handed the owner his visiting card, on the back of which he had pencilled: “If ever you want three hundred pounds instead of your chair, let me know.” A few days later he received a letter saying that the chair was his. Here, one of the most prized items in the sale, it is estimated at £150,000-200,000.

The contents of the Grade II listed building – transformed in the early 1990s by classical architect Quinlan Terry – are estimated to fetch in the region of £1.5m-2m.