"July is always a funny time to sell for us," said Lays Auction specialist Barbara Kirk. "A lot of dealers stay away as they don't want to get stuck in the holiday traffic."
So it was the local interest in local material that furnished this 3038-lot outing on July 22-23 with many of its most contested entries, including two 19th century marble moulds for casting Cornish tin ingots.
The 6 1/2in x 17in (16cm x 43cm) moulds were discovered by the local vendor buried in rubbish at the bottom of a white marble Italian bath he had purchased previously at auction. The bath failed to sell, the vendor having given it a too-punchy estimate of £14,000-18,000, but the moulds, both carved for mine owner Lewis Charles Daubuz, were much more warmly received.
As 19th century mementos of Cornwall's tin industry, they attracted interest from Truro's Royal Cornwall Museum and from Cornwall's Cambourne School of Mines, but both were outbid by a local private buyer who took the ingots at £1300.
Hailing from the same 30-lot private consignment was a group of Newlyn copper entries headlined by a 2ft 3 1/4in x 14 3/4in (69cm x 37cm) mirror decorated with fish and scallop shells which took £2600.
A pair of 12 3/4in (32cm) diameter documentary alms dishes, decorated with fish and seaweed, one inscribed Designed by J.D. MacKenzie, the Newlyn industrial class, Newlyn, Penzance P.H., were also keenly sought after, selling to a private buyer at £2000.
"The market for Newlyn copper does not seem to show any signs of abating," said Barbara Kirk.
Of note outside this dispersal was an unusual Louis Wain loving cup by The Bristol Cat & Dog Pottery, painted with a black cat and dog and inscribed It is years since we last met.
Signed by Louis Wain, it fetched £580, while a second signed Wain entry, a jug painted with a cat and a dog and inscribed Good gracious, how you frightened me, brought £200 despite a chipped spout. The sale totalled £155,000.
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