Page last updated at 08:21 GMT, Monday, 27 July 2009 09:21 UK

'Churchill's' sofa fetches 7,500

The sofa
The sofa was destined for a skip before being sold at auction

A battered and ripped settee believed to have once belonged to Winston Churchill has fetched £7,500 at auction in Northamptonshire.

The late-19th Century Chesterfield is thought to have been in Churchill's private Whitehall offices during his second premiership from 1951 to 1955.

It was found during a routine house clearance by J.P.Humbert Auctioneers, from Northamptonshire.

The sofa was sold for £7,500 on Friday to a buyer in South Africa.

'Sorry state'

The 8ft (2.4m) leather button-back, scroll-arm seat settee was nearly discarded in a skip until the brother of the late owner mentioned the connection.

Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert said the provenance had not been proved officially, but the settee was given as a gift to a friend of Churchill's who then passed it on to the most recent owner.

It originally had an estimated value of £50-80, as it needs much restoration.

But it attracted worldwide interest at the sale and finally sold to a client in South Africa.

Mr Humbert said: "For an item whose fate was so almost a landfill site and given its sorry state of repair, to realise £7,500 is well beyond expectation and indicative of the high esteem [in which] the whole world holds Churchill."

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