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On April 16, however, they were offering one of their periodic regular auctions: a more eclectic mid-range offering that incorporated furniture,
carpets, sculpture, and decorative works of art.

Just how broad that mix was can be gleaned from a roll-call of the ten top priced lots which comprised four 19th century bronzes, one set of 19th century ivory figures, three carpets and two pieces of English walnut cabinet furniture. That said, a sizeable portion of this 488-lot auction, around 20 per cent, came from one source, the late Percy Cook, a well known dealer who had a shop in St Christopher’s Place, just behind Oxford Street. The Cook property fitted in well with this event, being itself something of a eclectic mix of periods and styles from England and the Continent with a strong decorative element. It saw a take-up of around 75 per cent, slightly higher than for the sale as a whole, with plenty of pieces outstripping their estimates including this pair of 141/2in (37cm) high gilt-bronze, cut-glass and porcelain candlesticks of c.1800 catalogued as having restorations, which proved to be the most expensive Cook entry at a treble estimate £6000.

The works of art which made up the afternoon session of this sale were particularly strong on animalier bronzes which were topped as expected by the piece pictured on the catalogue cover and shown here, Pierre Jules Mene’s Valet de Chasse Louis XV which realised £12,000.

But an even higher and more unexpected price was paid out in the morning when a 7ft 1in x 3ft 31/2in (2.1 x 1m) patinated bronze door estimated at £3000-5000 sold for £14,000. Described as French Fontainebleau School and dated to the late 19th century, this was a highly decorative piece embellished with panels of nymphs, putti and foliage and was reputed to have once belonged to Al Capone.

The top lot of the auction was even more out of line with expectations. A price of £17,000 was paid for a large Ushak carpet measuring 24ft 4in x 17ft 1in (7.4 x 5.2m) described as holed and estimated at just £800-1200.