THIS piece of furniture has just sold in Worthing for an eye-watering £30,000 – between 15 and 20 times its estimated price.
Sold last Wednesday at Campbell’s auctioneers, in High Street, this 18th-century cabinet, known as a commode, sparked a bidding war between six people from London.
Auctioneer Paul Campbell said he had expected the item, which he believed had been designed by Thomas Sheraton in the 1790s, to sell above its valued price after hearing there were interested bidders from London.
But, he said, he had been “shocked” by the price it had sold for, after it had initially been valued at between £1,500 and £2,000.
He said: “I did think it might make £4,000 or £5,000, but £30,000 is really something else. I had to keep my composure when it went over £15,000.
“It’s a simple case of supply and demand economics – there are not enough of these to go around, and when people want something you can never be sure how much they will spend.”
One of the reasons the commode sold for such a high price was because the two owners, a couple of elderly sisters, had never restored it, Paul said.
Instead, they decided to sell the family heirloom when one of them needed to move to a nursing home. And they were so thrilled with the sale price that one of them phoned Paul twice to thank him.
Paul added: “This commode didn’t come from a grand house full of furniture like this – it was their one heirloom, which makes this story even better.”