The mystery buyer at the Tullochs Auctions' antique estate sale was also up for a $9400 buyers' premium, making a total of $103,400 for the six- legged sideboard, which the catalogue described as "missing two locks and with replaced knobs".
The huge price marked a sensational day in the dispersal of 327 lots from the estate of the late Simon Brown, of Campbell Town's stately Ellenthorpe Hall, with an estimated $600,000 changing hands from 300 potential bidders.
There was strong mainland interest in some pieces, including a mid-19th century oil-on- canvas by an unknown artist of the sailing barque Derwent, which went under the hammer for $40,000.
A 1m sandstone pedestal which had graced the front courtyard of Ellenthorpe Hall sold for $10,500.
Auctioneer and Tullochs director Scott Millen described the unexpectedly high price for the sideboard as "sensational".
"It reflected the rarity of the piece," said Mr Millen, who initially encountered buyer reluctance to the piece. It was catalogued as "in very fine condition", apart from noted defects.
Mr Millen first dropped the starting price from $30,000 to $25,000 then to $20,000.
In extraordinary scenes, the low figure appeared to be a strong signal for the 91cm high by 166cm wide sideboard to attract interest from five bidders.
In $2000 lots the piece soon shot through the $40,000 barrier. Bidding surged towards $70,000 before appearing to stall followed by a resurgence as two bidders tussled before one dropped out at $94,000.
The packed gallery of 300 clapped the successful bidder and four-minute tense battle.
Mr Millen declined to identify the mystery buyer or where the buyer lived but pointed out that the sideboard sale marked a strong resurgence of interest in antiques and other colonial collectables.
"There has been strong mainland interest in the auction but also serious local interest," Mr Millen said. A 140cm high and 196cm wide cedar sideboard, circa 1835, sold for $12,500.
Bidding started at $500 for a 16cm high colonial-era Port Arthur bell, marked "P.A." and with a broad arrow which raced through to $3000 before the hammer fall.
Books held their own in the sale. A second edition (1887), of The Tasmanian Merinos Of Scone sold for $1700.
¤An auction preview story published in The Examiner yesterday said that the late Mr Brown was the last in the colonial family's line. However, he was survived by twin brothers Christopher and Anthony Brown.