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Almost predictably, the big surprise over the two sales came among the Chinese ceramics. This was an 18th century Imari vase and cover of tapered baluster form with four panels, two painted with fishermen in a riverscape and two with courting birds among foliage, divided by four smaller panels painted with flowers. The 2ft 2in (66cm) tall vase, with a wooden finial to the cover, had a corner section of the cover restuck and a chip to the vase rim. Nevertheless, against a £500-700 estimate the vase sold at £4500.

Other prices included a double-estimate £2700 bid for a Meiji period Satsuma vase, 12in (31cm) tall, with marks for Ryozan and the Yasuda Co and the painted mon of Lord Shimazu.

European material included a Meissen figure of a woman poised about to bowl a gilt ball. Barefooted and flimsily clad in a green robe leaving one breast exposed, this was hardly the dress code of the average ladies’ bowling club but bidders liked her sufficiently to go to £1850 against a £500-700 estimate.

The earlier jewellery sale was led by a ruby and diamond bangle on a gold mount which took a mid-estimate £3000 while the best of the silver was a boxed eight-piece tea and coffee service by Timothy Hesketh, St Petersburg 1890 and 1891, which went over estimate at £2700.