IT is always in the interest of auctioneers and the trade to talk the market up, but there does seem to be a general consensus among auctioneers that business this year so far has got off to a frisky start.

Clark Gammon Wellers (15% buyer's premium) are one of many with an upbeat outlook and, although there were few blockbuster entries in their 534-lot February 24 sale, they reported a better turnout and take-up than at many of their auctions last year.

The highest price was bid for a good-quality London timepiece – a William IV ormolu mantel clock with fusée movement, signed Payne 163 New Bond Street. Consigned from a Bracknell house clearance, it doubled pre-sale expectations, selling to a local dealer at £2600.

The trade also secured a carriage clock with a silver dial by Elkington & Co., 1901, at £1300. Of military interest, it bore an engraved presentation plaque recognising the patriotic service of Private Alfred Gilchrist in the South African campaign.

The wide-ranging offering also included ceramics, glass, dolls, toys, models and games with a 14 3/4in (37cm) high Gallé cameo vase realising £1000 despite a large chip to the foot, and a boxed set of Pelham puppets, Noddy and Big Ears, conjuring a winning £210.