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There was also a mixed-owner sale devoted to oak and country furniture and ceramics at the Sotheby’s Olympia rooms the following week on December 6 and a similar vernacular furniture and objects selection at Christie’s South Kensington two weeks earlier on November 14 (both 17.5/10% buyer’s premium).

These were similar-sized events: Sotheby’s netting just a shade under £230,000 with selling percentages in the 60s and Christie’s chalking up just over £280,000 with selling rates in the 70s.

At Christie’s the content was equally divided between furniture and objects, although it was the former that provided the financial backbone of the sale. Despite their slightly higher selling rate, the objects only accounted for a third of the overall £281,000 total.

At Sotheby’s sale the following month, it was furniture that proved more solid in performance than the works of art and metalware, although the brass dish pictured here provided the sale with its top price of £9200. The strongest overall performance, however, came from the blue and white Staffordshire figures and 18th century creamware and other ceramics that made up the afternoon session of the sale. Just 22 of the 93 lots failed to find a buyer, a much higher take-up than for the sale as a whole.

An impressive-looking oak draw-leaf table dated to the early 17th century had been billed as Christie’s best-seller with an estimate of £25,000-35,000, but this failed to get pulses racing and was bought in at £16,000, leaving another slightly later 17th century oak table of refectory form as the £12,000 top lot of the day. Measuring 10ft 4in (2.9m) long and distinguished by six channelled block and ring turned legs and a foliate strapwork frieze, it was described as North Country, mid-17th century.

No CSK oak sale would be complete without its selection of Windsor chairs, and alongside a selection of single examples this sale featured an early 19th century set of six in elm, beech and yew attributed to the Thames Valley region. These exhibited many of the characteristics of those made by the celebrated Prior family of Uxbridge, but they lacked any name stamp. They sold, but at a below-estimate £2800. By contrast, there was considerable interest in the earlier single Thames Valley Windsor pictured here – an armchair in ash with original and distinctive additional arched top rail
in fruitwood, outswept legs and
a saddle-shaped seat stamped HP. Bidding on this swept past the £2000-3000 estimate halting only when it reached £7200.

As mentioned, Sotheby’s top lot was a brass salver. Measuring 18in (46cm) in diameter, of silver inspired shape and dated to c.1740, this had been guided by the auctioneers at £1500-2500, but it finally sold for £9200 to a London dealer.

Top price in the furniture was a Charles I settle with triple section back folding down to form a table top that sold below estimate at £5400.

Leading the ceramics at £5200 was an unusual early Staffordshire offering, a 6in (15cm) high Walton pearlware spill vase fashioned as the Royal Supporters and decorated in a bright palette.