The Chippendale period mahogany centre pedestal desk that made £84,000 at Addison’s.

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It was consigned by a local firm of solicitors and catalogued as early 19th century. In tired condition - and in the mistaken belief that the unusual top, which overhung the base, could have been a later alteration - it was given a £600-800 estimate, hoping to attract some private interest.

On the day, however, it was the trade who clamoured for the piece, believing it to be by Thomas Chippendale. A total of eight bidders, all members of the trade, fought for the piece and drove the price to £84,000 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium), at which point it sold in the room to a dealer from the North of England.