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The backs of the 4ft 5in (1.36m) high bookcases had been partially cut away to accommodate a skirting board but their colour, slender proportions and the pairs of full-length doors maximising display potential made them a commercial entry.

‘Golden oak’ is more a trade phrase than a conventional auction cataloguing term, but Holloways specialist James Lees wanted to make the distinction between the warm honey tones of this quality piece of Victorian oak and the dark brown patina of what he describes ‘pussycat oak’. They certainly attracted trade interest and sold to a dealer at £5200.

For the same money, a decorator secured a flamboyant 5ft (1.63m) Chippendale-design, but 19th century giltwood and gesso overmantel.

The mirror plate was divided into compartments by carved rocaille and scrollwork and fronted by a pair of perched ho-ho birds.

Also appealing to the decorating trade was an unusual early 19th century pier cabinet painted in the ‘Indian Gothic’ style of Brighton’s Royal Pavilion. The 3ft 9in (1.14m) piece was raised on ebonised winged lion paw supports and it featured hooked arabesque apertures to its front and sides.

Although it did not bear any royal brand marks to suggest it ever graced the Royal Pavilion, it attracted the interest of several parties, selling in the room to an agent on behalf of an anonymous buyer at £5200.

Consigned from the same source as the golden oak bookcases was a South Italian giltwood and gesso frame, c.1680, carved with a tasselled canopy hung with festoons and enclosing an associated Trapani coral figure.This ornate, 2ft 10in x 22in (87cm x 56cm) entry fetched £2800.

As decorative in their own way, and again from the same vendor was a large pair of reverse-painted pharmacist’s display jars with Arrowroot and Magnesia detailed in gilt. Resting on gothic iron wall-mounted stands, the vases sold at £850.

One of 15 pieces from a different private consignment was a Collier and Plunknett partner’s pedestal desk in oak. Of Aesthetic design, the 5ft 11in (1.82m) desk with stylised floral inlay and pyrographed panels had been kept in storage for the last decade.

Although some scratches did detract a little from the clean lines of its architectural design, it fetched £4800.

Holloways, Banbury, January 27
Number of lots offered: 668
Lots sold: 73 per cent
Sale total: n/a
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent