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While there was little of note in the ceramics, longcase clocks brought some healthy prices and an Oriental sleeper wrested a four-figure bid from the trade.

A privately consigned cinnabar lacquer box and cover, undated in the catalogue, turned out to be an 18th century - albeit damaged - example. Crafted as a ruyi head, the cover was carved with the Chinese character for longevity flanked by dragons against a cloud ground and Buddhistic symbols. Estimated at £200-300, the 161/2in (42cm) box took £3300.

A Lenci figural box and cover modelled as a young girl in an orange beret and black dress seated on a bench, fetched £1650. The top seller was a George III mahogany longcase by Robert Fletcher Snr, Chester, c.1785. With a 13in (33cm) broken arch dial signed over the arch, it had a central calendar, centre seconds, and a rack-and-bell striking movement with deadbeat escapement. Estimated at £3000-5000, it brought £6000.

Also going above expectations was a mahogany floor-standing regulator with pin wheel escapement and calendar. Signed Albin Fehrenbach, Strood, Kent, the maker is not listed but is assumed to be a member of the Fehrenbach family of clockmakers working near Leipzig in the late 19th century who emigrated to England and set up businesses as far apart as Carlisle and Dover.
The 6ft (1.83m) case to this elegant Germanic piece had undergone some restoration but the timepiece took £4500 against an estimate of £2800-3600.

Phillips, Chester, October 4-5
Buyer’s premium: 15/10 per cent