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Architect donates 600-work collection to Pallant gallery
Reendesert Lodge Auction
New guide on how to save key art works for nation
New chief wanted for Bonhams Knightsbridge
Giacometti gets foundation at last
Drinking with the Beggar’s Benison
National database for stolen art a step closer
LVMH bow out with Tajan sale
First case for France’s new auction watchdog as it acts over suspected fake paintings
Statue of Liberty to reopen this year

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McLean link to £200,000 table
A very fine early Regency period drum table c.1805 in a faded honey-coloured rosewood prompted an extraordinary bidding battle at Clevedon Salerooms near Bristol on June 1. Estimated at £4000-6000, it sold at a house record £200,000 (plus buyer’s premium) to a member of the London trade. The underbidder was also a London dealer.

The 3ft 6in (1.06m) diameter table was consigned by a lady moving to South Wales in her retirement and was once in the possession of the civil servant Sir Arthur Cecil McWatters (1880-1965) while resident at St Giles’ House (the Judge's Lodgings) in Oxford.

However, alongside exceptional quality and state of preservation, the key to its commercial success were its finely cast and chased mounts – including panels of satyr masks and musical instruments – prompting speculation that the maker was John McLean & Son. The idiosyncratic London firm advertised themselves as makers of ‘Elegant Parisien Furniture’ and such thoroughly English interpretations of French Directoire style using rosewood, gilt brass mounts and the sparing use of water gilding were a speciality.


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