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One was on a yellow ground, the other on pink, and both exceeded all expectations. Both had gilt decoration with oval panels containing photographic bust portraits of the new King and Queen and they had been reckoned at around £30-50 by auctioneer Michael Perry.

The explanation for what he saw as the “staggering” amount of interest they caused seems to have been not merely their pristine condtion but also their rare colours, particularly in the case of the yellow ground example which brought £1500 and, to a lesser extent, the pink one which took £850. Both fell to different buyers both bidding on the telephone.

Commemorative wares also brought success in the shape of a Victorian Parian ware bust of Queen Victoria. Mr Perry believes the publicity occasioned by the centenary of her death contributed to the degree of interest in the unusually large – 2ft 1/2in (62cm) – piece. At some point, possibly on her death, it had been painted black then later white washed, but the resulting amount of work which will be needed did not deter bidders who contested the piece to £900.

Elsewhere the strength of the market for Beswick figures showed no sign of abating with a complete hunting group of six figures taking £600 and a John Beswick family of donkey, jenny and foal bringing £90.

Capes Dunn, Manchester, January 30
Buyer’s premium: 11.75 per cent