Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The dish had been consigned by a longstanding private client of Lawrences who was having a clear out. There had been some restoration to the cover, which was mounted with a figure of a bird, but it was so good it took auctioneer Robin Lawrence a while to spot it. Although the condition of the two-handled base was good, the crack to the cover put some buyers off and the dish sold on the bottom estimate £4000 to the trade.

The majolica theme continued with a George Jones jardinière and stand decorated with birds, bullrushes, dragonflies and water lilies. The piece had been saved from the skip and was in very poor condition with a hole to the drip tray and several missing pieces.

But the collectability of George Jones pieces saw it taken over its £100-200 estimate to bring £520 from the trade.

Elsewhere in the ceramics a 19th century Masons Ironstone
29-piece dessert service was a “nice find”. It is usual to find bits and pieces of a service like this, but a whole set doesn’t appear very often and this was in good condition with a slightly unusual chinoiserie design. With hopes of up to £800 it got away at £2200. Overall Robin Lawrence was pretty pleased with the sale, which, at 2370 lots was smaller than the December sale, but had a larger take-up. “I think the market is quite healthy at the moment as long as you price things correctly. If you estimate something at what it would have made two or three years ago, it just won’t budge”, he said.

There were no significant or outstanding prices in the furniture, but there did seem to be keener demand for the middle-of-the-road pieces in the section. Notable prices included an Arts & Crafts bookcase with a moulded cornice and two lead glazed doors that took £1550, and a George II mahogany dwarf chest with moulded top and pinched corners that made £1250.