UK: COLLECTORS’ sales are more insulated against market polarisation than most other areas with the niche appeal of the generally more affordable entries attracting greater numbers of private buyers. This sale, with most lots selling under £500, was no exception, with an 88 per cent take-up resulting in a £51,000 total.

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