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True, not everyone was entirely happy. Some of the trade, predictably including London silver dealers. were unhappy about the intrusion of the BBC cameras recording a Cash In The Attic episode and, indeed, Tim Duggan sounded as if he’d had enough TV exposure.

When the episode goes out, viewers may get the impression that damage is no drawback to high prices – although these were damaged goods of real quality. This was the case with two star lots at this Surrey sale.

The first unexpected star – as is often the case at auctions throughout the land – was an offering of Chinese ceramics.

Catalogued briefly as two possibly 18th century Chinese porcelain lidded jars – one famille verte, the other blue and white large – they were estimated together at £400-600 but attracted huge specialist trade interest.

On sale day, five London dealers on the phone vied for the 2ft 11in (89cm) Export temple jars. Although there were some hopeful commission bids of around £400, one of £5000 established the bidding base.

The winner, at £12,000, was a dealer in the room who told Mr Duggan later that the jars were, in fact, 17th century and, had it not been for the damage to the lids and the extensive crazing, he would have gone to £30,000.

The top furniture offering was also a triumph of quality over condition.

This was a Georgian mahogany sofa table, smaller than standard and of superb quality but seriously distressed, including lifting at various points and a horizontal split across the top.

Illustrated right it was catalogued in the terse style which so suits the trade, as opposed to private punters, as “Sheraton mahogany 18th century table with frieze drawers, marquetry and inlaid decoration, tapered legs supports a/f.”

Few clues there to the inexpert eye, but trade specialists knew quality when they saw it and a top London dealer, happy to take on a serious four-figure restoration bill, went well over estimate to win it at £5700.

The trade also dominated the silver, the top bid coming on a Victorian four-piece tea set, the chinoiserie design of which was the key to it making £1500.

Although Wellers remains, at least as far as its catalogue goes, an auction house geared more to the trade than to private buyers, this is not to say that collectors can’t make their mark.

The remarkable allure of 1990s Swarovski glass was evident with an eight-lot offering of the Austrian material headed by a mint, boxed and certificated group titled Inspiration Africa. It comprised a signed 1993 elephant, a 1994 kudu and a 1996 lion and sold at £1400.

Another determined collector, who already has about 50 stuffed fish, bid £950 for a case by Cooper & Son (the Roll-Royce of piscean taxidermy) exhibiting a 1lb 12oz rudd, caught on the Ouse at Ely, 1912.