Dining table sells for £20,000 after missing piece found under mattress

12th October 2011

An antique dining table by one of England’s finest furniture makers sold at Woolley and Wallis's Antique Furniture sale for £20,000, after part of it was found under the mattress of an elderly lady. The table, a mahogany extending table attributed to Gillows of Lancaster, had come into the saleroom with three of its six extra leaves missing. It was given an estimate of £4,000-6,000. A few days before the 11th October auction, furniture specialist Will Hobbs received a phone call from the vendor to say that he had come upon one of the missing leaves – supporting his mother’s mattress. It was hastily delivered to Woolley and Wallis in time for the sale.

After fierce bidding the table sold for an astonishing £20,000. The additional leaf probably added several thousand to the price achieved – certainly enough for a new mattress!

Another fortuitous find led a 17th century carved Royal Coat of Arms, which had been discovered in a barn in East Anglia, to sell for more than £11,000 at the same sale.

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