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The surprise came among the rising market in collectable textiles – a lot catalogued as a Victorian child’s ragwork and embroidered silkwork study of a zebra by a tree under glass. The 11in by 12in (28.5 x 31cm) piece was estimated at £50/80 but the reaction to it suggested it was a considerably earlier work and it sold to a trade specialist at £1350.

By contrast there was very little interest in the 1895 Arts & Crafts copper charger signed John Pearson. Illustrated in colour on the catalogue cover, the 2ft (61cm) diameter charger with motifs of galleons and fish was bought in against an estimate of £2000-3000.

Bidders were on more familiar ground among the 90 lots of furniture at the end of the sale. Here the top price was taken for a 7ft 1in high 9ft 2in wide (2.15 x 2.83m) walnut veneered bookcase. Late Victorian, with a stepped ovolu cornice, six glazed doors and six recessed panel doors to the base, it had been reveneered at some point and was a typical target of private buyers, one of whom took it at its top estimate £3200.

Other solidly-selling furniture among a dozen four-figure bids in the section included a 2ft 7in (78cm) wide George III mahogany chest of four drawers with brushing slide which trebled hopes at £3000, and a George II burr walnut and herringbone inlaid side table with quarter veneered moulded top and shaped cushion frieze drawer which went over hopes at £2600.

No movement on the davenport slump, however. A pretty walnut example with maple fitted interior and catalogued as ‘Victorian style’ brought £120, barely half the modest estimate, and a classical Victorian piece in walnut with boxwood and ebony stringing, a stationery box above the fall-front writing compartment and four real and four dummy doors, just edged above the lower estimate to make £420.

Trembath Welch, Great Dunmow, September 10
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent