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The first sale viewed was Apter Fredericks: 75 Years of Important English Furniture at Christie's. This saw some exceptional results, a tribute to the connoisseurship of Harry and Guy Apter, the third generation of a family dealership that has now closed the doors of its gallery after 75 years on London’s Fulham Road.

There were many outstanding lots, a number of which far exceeded their estimates. Most notable of all was an immense and impressive George II mahogany breakfront library bookcase, attributed to William Hallett c.1750. At almost four metres in length, not many interiors could accommodate a piece of this size. Yet it is of flawless craftsmanship and grandeur and perhaps unsurprisingly sold for £181,250 which was more than double its estimate.

A George II mahogany breakfront library bookcase

Yesterday saw the runaway success of Dreweatts’ Aynhoe Park: A Modern Grand Tour. The contents of Aynhoe Park, Oxfordshire reflected the house’s primary purpose as an events venue for those wanting to flash their Notting Hill credentials. Decorated in a theatrical style bordering on the camp, the owners had combined taxidermy, ersatz antiquities and a range of outlandish objects to create a Bohemian look that has done very well under the hammer. Every lot on day one of this two day sale sold yesterday, with the vast majority selling for multiples of their estimate. No doubt day two will be a repeat performance.

The original Aynhoe rocking zebra; by James Perkins

Estimate: £3000 - £5000

Sold for: £32,000

Beth Carter (British b.1968), standing full length minotaur

Estimate: £3000 - £5000

Sold for: £10,000

A pair of large brass palmier lamps, attributed to Maison Jansen, 1970s

Estimate: £3000 - £5000

Sold for £17,000

Now the spotlight is on New York, basking in the relief of yesterday’s inauguration and with the extraordinary calibre of works being offered in the Sotheby’s Old Master sale, the art world waits with baited breath … Sandro Botticelli’s masterpiece Young Man Holding a Roundel which is expected to make in the region of $80m. But if you want perfection in a painting, look no further than Rembrandt’s ravishing Abraham and the Angels. Thankfully we managed to see this in the basement at Sotheby’s in London before it flew to New York. Old Master paintings showed great resilience last year with some phenomenal results for mediocre offerings – no doubt fuelled by the locked down pent-up demand effect. This tailed towards the end of the year, so it will be interesting to see if it picks up again later this month.

Portrait of a young man holding a roundel. 58.4 x 39.4 cm.

Alessandro di Mariano Filipepi, called Sandro Botticelli (1444/5 – 1510), Sotheby's NY

Abraham and the Angels. 16.1 x 21.1 cm.

Rembrandt van Rijn (1606 – 1669) Sotheby's NY