Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Dreweatt Neate – like Rowley Fine Art – had a small inaugural musical instrument section. It got off to a good start when an early 20th century violin by Emanuel Whitmarsh of London produced the biggest price of the day – £1900.

The violin was closely followed by a Drew & Sons oak-cased picnic set from Bagnor Manor. With opening felt-lined table top and two side flaps, it was well-fitted out and its broad appeal ensured it was contested to £1850 by a room bidder against the telephone.

Bagnor Manor furnished the sale with another star lot: a pair of painted carved wood roundabout figures of Mickey and Minnie Mouse. Modestly estimated at £200-300, the Walt Disney couple tripped the light fantastic and sold at £1700.

Noah’s Arks are always popular and a Victorian example reached £1050 against a top estimate of £800 while a collection of dance band photographs from the 1940s swung to £850.

The hero of the Pelham puppet entries – an area auctioneer Dick Henrywood wishes to expand – was Hank, based on Francis Coudrill’s television cowboy namesake. Their last example sold at Dreweatt Neate, April 1998 at £520 but this entry shot to £640 despite lacking one revolver.

Dreweatt Neate, Newbury, May 23
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent