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AN American intruder took the limelight during an eclectic session of works of art – a 5ft 5in by 2ft 9in (1.65m x 84cm) toll board painted with black lettering on a brown ground with a list of charges (in cents) for the passage of horse or ox-drawn vehicles. It was an unusual lot to appear for sale in Sussex, but the vendor – a local private client who acquired it around ten years ago – could provide little in terms of illuminating historical background.

Similar (but English) objects sold by Sotheby’s at Noseley Hall, last year provided the basis of a £300-500 valuation but this was a bona fide American survival – and accordingly a different kettle of fish.

The paint surface was considered particularly good, and pitting from shot gun pellets suggested a little romance.

A telephone from the US provided the underbidding but it was a UK collector of folk art who tendered the winning bid of £7600.

As per usual “selectivity” best described the buying approach to a very varied selection of British textiles and metalwork.

The runner up in terms of price was a pair of English brass ‘trumpet base’ candlesticks with ribbed shafts and a central drip tray, 7in (17.5cm) high, dated to c.1660. These examples of a well-documented form were not in great condition, but sold to a US dealer at £2300.