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The majority of the 350 ceramics and glass lots at Bonhams & Brooks on June 29 got away but a considerable amount of the furniture, which made up the lion’s share of the sale, failed to do so.

Royal Worcester was well represented with most of the pieces coming from a South West private vendor, including the best sellers – a pair of vases, pictured, and a single vase.

The 1924, 101/2in (27cm) high pair of ovoid vases, with ornate shoulder handles and a gilded moulded base and neck were painted by C. Johnson with flamingoes in a rocky waterscape. The painting was in “perfect condition” but the vases were not – only one had a lid and one had seen a repair to the stem. This did not deter the successful buyer who against a £300-500 estimate yielded £2300.

The same figure was taken for the single 9in (23cm) high 1901 urn-shaped vase (shape 2063) with ornate neck, shoulder handles and a gilt decorated moulded square base. Painted by Harry Davis with herons in a rocky pool and palm trees in the distance, it was in wholly “perfect condition”.

A pair of 1880 Royal Worcester La Source figurines modelled as women with two-handled pots on their heads and carrying ewers were in “fantastic” condition and found favour with an Australian telephone buyer.

The 20in (51.5cm) high figures, with key decoration and blue and pink floral edging to their robes, went over expectations to bring £1700.

Later Royal Worcester figures included three ‘limited edition’ horses from the late 1960s which went over estimate at £2000.

Meissen had its moments in the form of a slab-form tea caddy in “superb condition” bar some slight losses to the knobs which was in the form of a flower bud. It was catalogued as late 18th century and although Ms Lanning discovered it to be to c.1880 it attracted attention from all over Europe. Painted with alternate panels of flowers and figures at the waterside, mountains and ships in the distance and gilt and relief scrolls to the edges the 7in (17cm) caddy, with a blue crossed swords mark to the base, went to a European buyer at £1350.

Staffordshire enthusiasts were catered for by a 5in (13.5cm) wide c.1860, pottery recumbent cat. Boldly picked out in black, it had a hairline crack to the cobalt and gilt bordered rectangular base and restoration to
one of the ears but it still sold to a
dealer at £1200.

Moorcroft remained popular with a private collector taking the two top sellers. A 7in (18cm) high flambé Tudric biscuit barrel in the quite rare Ochré Poppy pattern, with a hammered pewter rim and circular knopped cover, had some cracking and staining to the base but sold at £1300 and a 5in (13.5cm) tobacco jar made for Liberty & Co. in 1910 decorated with stylised peacock feathers brought £840.

Furniture was a different story. With no top end pieces and the continuing problem of selective bidding in the middle orders, there was a buy-in rate of just over 27 per cent. That said, some middle rank pieces did go over estimate, like an 18th century walnut chest-on-chest – “fairly provincial” and, moreover, an associated piece, thought auctioneer Angus Milner-Brown.

Some trade buyers took the view that the 3ft 4in by (1.01m x 55cm x 1.58m) chest was actually all of an original piece with alterations over the years, accounting for the three short and three long drawers to the upper section and two long drawers to the base. This, combined with the current strength of walnut, may explain the double-estimate £1850 bid.

A Victorian oak cabinet, carved to the whole with figurative and animal masks and floral decoration with three glazed doors above three drawers and three covered doors also went over estimate. Standing an imposing 6ft 71/2in by 21in by 8ft 1in (2.02m by 55cm by 2.47m) it was a trade buy at £1400.

More disappointing was the reaction to a c.1720 walnut bureau later inlaid with a central amboyna cartouche and sloped fall enclosing a fitted interior which carried the sale’s highest hopes at £1000-2000. Attractively sized at 2ft 91/2in wide by 3ft 2in high (96 x 85cm), it had undergone some rather unsuccessful restoration and only got away at £900.