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“With mahogany falling out of favour, people are more concerned with items being fit for the purpose and looking right,” said director Hugo Lemon, who noted that oak and lighter satinwoods are today’s choice.

Certainly the top seller at Amersham on June 6 fitted this picture – a 7ft 4in (2.24m) long 17th/18th century oak refectory table with later triple-plank top raised on slender, ring-and-vase turned legs united by chamfered base stretchers. “A wonderful rustic charm but also the perfect size for modern living,” noted Mr Young as the table sold to a private bidder at £5700.

Mahogany pieces did sell but at £2300, a 6ft 2in (1.88m) George II mahogany and marquetry chest-on-chest with a cornice and two short and three long drawers above a brushing slide and a base of three long drawers, looked a good buy for the winning bidder.

Two mahogany-cased wall clocks with fusee movements and white-painted, convex dials also passed the practicality test. One, an early 19th century drop-dial example with 8 1/2in (21.5cm) dial sold at £1700 while the other, a large 18in (46cm) diameter George III clock made in Wilmshurst, brought £1500.