A sofa that once belonged to Britain's war-time leader Winston Churchill has sold for £7,500 at auction, despite an initial estimate of just £80.

Amazingly the sofa was originally destined for the skip but was saved when the brother of the late owner stepped forward with the famous connection.

The battered and ripped Chesterfield was initially found in the shed of a Vicarage in the English county of Northampton, after auctioneers had been asked to undertake a probate valuation.

The initial plan was to dispose of the crumpled old sofa as it was pretty much unusable. However, this plan was reconsidered when the brother remarked 'that's a shame, it once belonged to Winston Churchill'.

The Auctioneer told the Telegraph newspaper 'We thought we'd run it for a bit of a laugh' adding 'on the one hand it is clapped out, but on the other it's got this illustrious heritage'.

The brother explained the late 19th Century settee had graced Churchill's private Whitehall office during his second stint as Prime-Minister from 1951-1955.

Although there was no written proof of the provenance it did little to dent interest in the item. The sofa was purchased by a British national currently living in South Africa who made the winning bid over the phone during the auction.

The Auctioneers last words: "It shows the high regard with which Churchill is still held throughout the world'.

This is certainly true in the autograph market where a signed photograph of the great man is now valued at £6,950, up 178% in the last decade.

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