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The multi-estimate sum was all the more fortuitous given that the rowing club was a victim of the Herefordshire floods and under water on the day of the sale.

The table, however, had escaped this fate having been consigned to the recently-opened Easters Court auction rooms before disaster struck.

The oak dining or boardroom table was in Aesthetic style with five turned and fluted columns and a rosette-carved cruciform base.

Rather than a Robert Jupe-type mechanism, this table expanded to 9ft 3in (2.82m) across with the addition of four crescent-shaped leaves supported by pull-out lugs.

Apart from commission bids, there were 11 contesting telephone bidders attracted by the £3000-5000 estimate. It sold to the London trade at £66,000.

“For years we have been sitting around that table talking about how to raise £100,000 to upgrade the building,” a club spokesperson told the local press after the sale.

Much of what remained fell into the category of ‘period standards’, but there was a bid of £1320 for a Victorian duet stool (always a popular form) with four turned supports and a rise and fall mechanism stamped for H. Brooks and Co.

Also a predictable favourite was a pair of 19th century painted pine dummy boards sold at £2800. They were commercially sized at 3ft 6in (1.07m), attractively painted with a young girl in 17th century costume holding a fan and a young boy holding a cat in his wide brimmed hat and attractively estimated at £1500-2000.

The unexpected highlight among the ceramics was a damaged Beswick figure group of a dappled grey mare ridden by a huntsman in a red jacket together with a fox and foxhounds that sold at £680 (estimate £90-120).

Leading the silver and plate was a Victorian oak and EPNS mounted spirit stand of three barrels for whisky, gin and brandy each with an engraved label, a tap and a hanging bucket.

Measuring 15in (38cm) across, this is just the sort of unusual and decorative novelty to buck against an otherwise pedestrian market for electroplate. Estimated at £300-500, it sold to one of several telephone bidders at £1320.

Brightwells, Leominster, February 5
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