A Regency mahogany Carlton House desk – £18,500 at Moore Allen & Innocent.

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The vendors were titled owners of a local rectory. They had retained receipts detailing restoration completed in the 1970s, including new blocks to the legs and some repairs to splits, but this period desk was generally in good condition and a pleasing colour.

The estimate of £8000-12,000 for the sale on May 28 was a fullish one in the current market but the desk came down to a final battle between two trade bidders on the telephone who took it to £18,500 (plus 15 per cent buyer's premium).