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The foremost nutcracker was a 17/18th century work in the form of a cloaked man with hat, 8in (20cm). Estimated at £600-800, it was taken to £3200.

The attractively carved screwing mechanism helped a small 19th century example modelled as a shell to £240, and another carved with leaves and flowerheads was taken to £140 by a Lincolnshire buyer.

Elsewhere, the most consistent bidding in the 146-lot silver section was for the bottle labels that attracted some new buyers. All 11 multiple-lot entries sold with a set of three Georgian, crescent-shaped labels for ‘Madeira’, ‘Port’ and ‘White’ proving the finest vintage.

Dating from around 1796 and designed by Peter and Anne Bateman, they were taken to £205 by a Herefordshire collector, while a local collector went to £160 for a ‘Claret’ wine label, 1830, and could not resist the temptation of a ‘Scotch Whisky’ label at £140.

The biggest money of the sale came among the furniture. A practical and small 18th century oak dresser with four short drawers, 4ft 5in by 6ft (1.35m x 1.83m), fetched £3800.

An elegant pair of Aesthetic-style Victorian chairs with a brass baluster gallery, 1883, James Shoolbred, went to an American buyer at £3200, but the matching hall stand remained unsold at £2000-3000.

Brightwells, Leominster, June 11
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent