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“We spend on producing a good-quality catalogue which is our shop window and this is reflected in the prices realised,” said Cheffins furniture specialist Will Axon. Whether or not the catalogue directly influenced the price realised for the highlight of the April 21-22 sale is hard to say.

This was a privately entered, early 18th century, walnut-framed, wingback armchair with shell-carved cabriole legs. Of generous size and in original condition, this ready-to-go entry appealed to dealers and to private buyers alike and it sold to the trade at £14,000.

The trade also secured a red lacquered chinoiserie bureau bookcase. Lacquered in the 1920s or possibly even later, the bookcase had some 18th century elements but its value lay purely in its decorative appeal. It realised £6200.

Similarly, decorative appeal lay behind the spirited bidding for some of the painted pine furniture consigned by the celebrated interior designer Dudley Poplak following his move from his local country retreat.

Buyers were found for all bar two of the entries from this 30-lot consignment which realised £21,000.

Individual works included a naive school painting of Britannia dating to around 1800-1810 which fetched £1150 against a £300-500 guideline.

There was also a painted metal, tray-top side table attributed to Tom Parr of Colefax and Fowler which brought £1100; a marquetry painted bowfront sideboard of no real age which realised £1400; and a 19th century wirework birdcage which made £520.

Perhaps the most sought after private dispersal, however, was a diverse 10-lot group of Japanese ivory netsuke.

These included signed and unsigned examples of varying quality dating from the late 18th to the 20th centuries.

All were secured by the specialist trade with the most expensive netsuke, a 19th century signed group of warriors battling around a warhorse, being contested to £2200. Another 19th century example, modelled as Kinko riding a giant carp, took £1700 and an early 19th century dragon witch, with her tail coiled around a temple bell, brought £1300.

Cheffins do their homework but the Orient is a minefield for all auctioneers. Sometimes later research or expert opinion at the view arouses a sleeper but sometimes, as here, a piece fails to withstand extra scrutiny.

In this case a netsuke carved as a boar reclining on a bed of leaves and signed on a red coral base Masanao was catalogued as late 18th century and by the great Ise Masanao.

It was, however discovered to be a later copy – Masanao never signed his netsuke in this manner. An original work could cost a
collector £15,000-20,000 but this good quality copy was secured for a more financially accessible £1300.

Elsewhere, a group of privately entered No. 670 Eames chairs, purchased by the vendor as reissues in the 1970s, attracted predominantly private interest.

All four chairs sold to private buyers at between £1500 and £2700, the two £2700 lots each including a No. 671 footstool.

More staple provincial dining room fare was represented by a privately-consigned William IV mahogany dining table extending to 11ft 5 1/2in (3.49m). Coming with its original mahogany leaf cabinet, it fetched £5600.

Ceramics included a dated Sussex puzzle jug which took a trade bid of £950 and a 2 3/4in (7cm) high miniature Moorcroft Macintyre vase which realised £720 against pre-sale hopes of £150-200.

However, the ceramics section also fielded the highest-profile casualty when a privately entered. partially restored, white-ground Minton majolica ‘Fox and Ducks’ game pie dish and cover, failed to attract any interest at £8000-12,000.

These have often surpassed this sum but, in a softening majolica market, ceramics specialist George Archdale said the dish’s white ground did not appeal to their usual US buyers.

A group of three animalier bronzes by Pierre Jules Mêne (1810-1871) met with a warmer reception with the commercial subject matter of a horse nuzzling a dog leading the way at £4800.

Among the silver, a matched pair of claret jugs by The Goldsmiths and Silversmiths’ Co Ltd, marked for London 1904 and Sheffield 1918, caught the eye and sold at £5000.