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By contrast more common George III caddies – one with shell motif inlay to the top and Prince of Wales feathers to the front, the other a bowfront chest example veneered in tortoiseshell with canted corners, brass ball feet and silver escutcheons, sold at £420 and £810 respectively.

Regular Antiques Roadshow viewers will be familiar with the musical automaton white rabbit that appears in the opening credits rising from a cauliflower on a stained green wooden base, turning its head and twitching its ears. An example in the style of this popular model made in the late 19th century by Roullet and Dechamps brought £1650 at Penzance.

Highlights from the ceramic section included a gilt-framed Worcester enamel plaque painted by Richard Sebright with a basket of fruit on a table, dated c.1915 which took £1620 but there was also interest in West Country pieces.

A sought-after Poole pottery vase, 161/2in (42cm) high, with stylised floral painting in iron red, green, black and grey by Anne Hatchard (working 1918-1936) made £1300. A smaller version of this vase is illustrated on page 69 of Paul Atterbury’s Poole Pottery book.

Best of a dozen pieces of Troika pottery was a discus-formed lamp base, 141/2in (37cm) high, with typical abstract designs on a blue ground, that went to £680. This was closely followed by another vase of the same form, but with a brown ground, which made £620 and a double base lamp on brown ground sold at £480.

The recent publication of George Perrott’s book, Troika Ceramics of Cornwall has helped to fuel a renewed interest in the pottery as has, more exotically, the recent Aztec exhibition at the Royal Academy.

Many of Troika’s textured wares, particularly the masks and wheel vases, were inspired by the superb ceramics of Aztec culture.

Ceramics of wider general appeal included an 18th century Chinese Export Blue and White octagonal tureen on stand, the lid with scrolling handle, the base with boar’s head handle which took £600 and an early 19th century Staffordshire earthenware blue and white meat plate in the Gamekeeper pattern, 15in (38cm), with a large chip to the underside at £580.

Back among local strengths, David Lay’s saleroom has, inevitably, a reputation for Highlights at this sale included a 7in (18cm) diameter footed rosebowl with impressed mark which made £600; a Newlyn Industrial Class chamber stick decorated with two confronting dragons at £250 and a pen tray adorned with medlars at £160.

A single owner collection of Newlyn by factory metalworker Wilfred Tonkin included a small cylindrical tea caddy, 4in (10cm) high inscribed Tea to the lid and decorated with three cormorants to the body which made £280, a matchbox with hinged lid decorated with a fish at £200 and a wall sconce with a fishing boat in full sail to the back at £230.

Conforming to the domestic silver market doldrums, a three-piece Victorian tea service with teapot of bullet form decorated with chased and engraved urns with leaf capped handle and spout sold at a bottom-estimate £320. However, a rather more commercial entry, an Edwardian silver and tortoiseshell jewel box on claw feet by top London makers William and Comyns & Sons, made £750.

Best-seller among the furniture was an 18th century North Country oak clothes press. Measuring 4ft 10in wide by 6ft 4in high (1.47 by 1.93m) it had an upper section with ornately arched panelled doors on a base with moulded panels above three drawers. It sold at £2200.

A 19th century enamelled globe timepiece by the Parisian firm Redier, featuring a 31/2in (9cm) diameter globe held within a binnacle-form gilt bronze pedestal stand, all under a glass dome, sold at £3500.

David Lay, Penzance, May 22-23
Number of lots offered: 3013
Number of lots sold: 2737
Sale total: £178,000
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent