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Take the €23,000 (£15,330), against an estimate of €10,000-15,000, paid at Brussels' Galerie Moderne (20% buyer's premium) on April 21 for three volumes of a 1724 edition of Joan Blaeuw's Groot Stedeboek van Geheel Italie, containing 171 engravings of Italian towns and cities. The volumes were described as Tomes II, III & IV, but the absence of Tome I failed to deter some spirited bidding.

Top price at the sale was €34,000 (£22,670) for Anna Boch's large, market-fresh landscape Chaumière au Domaine Parmentier, 3ft 8in x 5ft 4in (1.12 x 1.62m). Although painted between 1900 and 1905, the work remained in Boch's possession until her death in 1933, and has since been in private hands. It was shown in the Anna Boch retrospective at the Mariemont modern art museum (near Charleroi) in 2000.

An undated Still Life with Fruit, 2ft 6in x 2ft (75 x 60cm), by David de Noter (1825-75) sold short of hopes for €18,000 (£12,000).

The same price greeted Jean Le Mayeur's Algérienne Fumant une Cigarette, 18 x 22in (46 x 55cm), at Campo Vlaamse Kaai (20% buyer's premium) in Antwerp on April 27. Minor works by Fernand Khnopff, Constant Permeke and Eugeen van Mieghem sold here in the €10,000-15,000 (£6700-10,000) band, while two Italian landscapes with figures by Willem Bodeman rated €13,000 (£8670) and €10,000 (£6670).

Pick of the Belgian pictures offered across town at Bernaerts (22% buyer's premium) on the same day was Constant Cap's 1900 At The Pharmacy, 2ft 1in x 2ft 7in (64 x 78cm), that sold to a Belgian buyer for €25,000 (£16,670), around four times the price expert Peter Bernaerts had been expecting and, he believed, a record for the artist. He attributed the work's success to its decorative appeal and accessible subject matter.

Another of the sale's major paintings, however, got away for something of a bargain: The Departure by Scottish artist Robert Gemmell Hutchison. Although signed bottom left, this was miscatalogued as Hutchisson - but that proved scant deterrent to the alert UK dealer who snared the work for €12,000 (£8000) against an estimate of €12,500-15,000. "I guess Belgian collectors don't know this artist!" shrugged Peter Bernaerts - although the picture (which had a label on the back marked Duncan Collection 1916) had been in private Antwerp hands "for some decades". With its gloomy interior and melancholy mother-and-children group right of centre, this hefty canvas, 4ft x 5ft 2in (1.22 x 1.58m), was similar in mood, tone and composition to Hutchison's slightly larger Awaiting The Verdict from the Forbes Collection, which was unsold at Christie's in February 2003 against an estimate of £40,000-60,000. Unlike the
Forbes Hutchison, the paintwork on the Bernaerts picture appeared to be in good condition.

Mathurin Moreau's late 19th century marble sculpture of a Young Girl Sitting on a Rock holding a Bird's Nest, 3ft 4in (1.01m) high, impressed on €16,500 (£11,000), and an Art Nouveau mahogany display cabinet, with a carved gold-ground panel signed Jef Strijman, featuring a profiled head and dated 1902, led the furniture on €13,000 (£8670).

There was more Art Nouveau furniture at Horta (20% buyer's premium) in Brussels on April 19, when a walnut dresser and buffet ensemble doubled hopes on €15,000 (£10,000). The buffet, with a two-doored cupboard topped by two drawers and a glass-doored display cabinet, was particularly ornate, with floral carving in high relief, and brass lock-plates and handles, also with floral motifs.

Top price at the sale was the €24,000 (£16,000) for Charles Catteau's bulbous glazed stoneware Art Deco vase, 9 1/2in (24cm) high and 11in (28cm) in diameter, adorned with a black octopus in semi-relief against a pale, grey-green ground.

A Chiparus bronze and ivory Danseuse, 15in (38cm) high, on a green and brown onyx base, doubled hopes on €17,500 (£11,670), and a pair of 17th century Italian vases, with Chinese-style insect and dragon decoration, 22in (56cm) in height, sold at €8500 (£5670).

An early 18th century barometer-thermometer from Amsterdam, 4ft 1in (1.25m) high with a walnut case embellished with floral-patterned marquetry with ivory flowers, topped by a pediment formed by two dolphins carved in high relief, sold on low estimate for €10,000 (£6670).

François Bossuet's small, winsome 19th century view of the Grand Canal in Venice, with the dome of the Salute looming to the right, panel 9 1/2 x 16in (24 x 40cm), was the only painting of note, fetching €16,000 (£10,670).

A 1450-lot epic at Beaux-Arts (22% buyer's premium) in Brussels (March 30-April 2) met a distinctly muted response, yielding a top price of €9500 (£6330) - just short of low estimate - for Jos Gyselinckx's 1868 farmyard scene La Toilette des Enfants, panel 23 x 18in (59 x 46cm).

A Gothic oak sculpture from Brabant, 13in (33cm) tall, provided one of the sale's few successes, claiming €5600 (£3735) against an estimate of €1000-1500. It depicted the seated figure of Saint Barbara with long flowing locks. A large book was open on her knees, but the saint appeared to be gazing wistfully at the floor.

The sale included three British items, most notably a bracket clock (c.1700) with a brass, bronze and stained wood case, 19in (48cm) tall, showing date, hours and minutes, the backplate engraved with Diana flanked by cherubs, that sold for €4600 (£3065).

A Victorian rosewood-veneered pedestal table with tripod base, 4ft 3in (1.3m) in diameter, fetched €2200 (£1465) and a pair of Victorian blue-ground porcelain vases, 23in (59cm) tall, sold for a predicted €2600 (£1730). These had gilded handles (one restored) in the form of crested birds, and large polychrome medallions depicting unidentified country estates.

Exchange rate: £1 = €1.5