The morning mixed-owner session devoted to Thomas Hope and the Neo-Classical vision, saw bidders waxing enthusiasticly over the Napoleonic provenance of a plain side table that formed part of the furnishings supplied by George Bullock for the Emperor's use at Longwood House during his exile on St Helena.
The 3ft 6in (1.07m) wide ebony and mahogany table that once stood in Napoleon's bedroom was entered with a modest £2000-3000 estimate but 12 phone lines were booked before the sale and from £18,000 onwards the piece was the object of a two-way telephone dog fight to £80,000.
The afternoon session was devoted to a single-owner collection of furnishings acquired from an impressive roll-call of contents sales held at Christie's over the past 30 years. The spotlight was thrown onto the early Georgian giltwood stool, shown here.
Christie's vendor acquired this from the auctioneer's 1980 contents sale at Wingfield Castle, home of the late connoisseur-collector Graham Baron Ash. But a pointer from architectural historian John Martin Robinson prompted Christie's to undertake additional research for this auction which revealed an important earlier provenance.
The seat was formerly part of the contents of the now demolished Wanstead House, Essex, one of the earliest English Palladian buildings. The stool was part of a grand suite of giltwood seat furniture that featured in the 1822 auction of the contents of Wanstead.
Last week it was estimated at 15,000-25,000 but five different private collectors were on the phones and it was knocked down at £135,000 (plus premium).