Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

The sleeper at Dreweatt Neate Bristol Salerooms' (15% buyer's premium) 732-lot August 24 sale was a Willliam IV cast-iron fire basket from a local house clearance.

Although it was catalogued correctly, its quality had been overlooked and it was entered with modest pre-sale hopes of £120-180.

“It has been ages since we had any decent fire baskets, but this was a particularly nice one and was contested by the London trade,” said Dreweatt Neate specialist David Rees.

The 2ft 2 1/2 x 2ft 3in x 11 1/2in (67 x 69 x 29cm) basket had a back panel cast with anthemion-centred foliate scrolls, a lozenge lattice openwork front panel and tapered front uprights with lion’s- paw feet.

It sold to a London dealer at £2700.

Selling more in line with expectations was the most expensive entry – a matched pair of 1913 12-bore shotguns which made £4400.

Among the furniture, a Victorian D-shaped credenza fetched £3900 and a Sheraton period satinwood-banded and inlaid mahogany Pembroke table was knocked down at £2500.

Overall the sale totalled £120,250 and saw a selling rate of 70 per cent by lot.