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While most collectors hail from the UK, one of the regular buyers routinely bids on the telephone from Australia.

Many of the best quality Royal Worcester items offered on June 16-17 were consigned from one deceased estate. These included the star turn - a pot pourri vase painted with sheep in a Highland setting by Harry Davis and dating to 1911.

The shape, size, painting (and painter) and excellent condition of this bellied vase, 13 1/2in (34cm) tall, ensured it was contested by UK collectors, the Australian private and a Yorkshire dealer bidding on behalf of a client. Estimated to fetch £4000-6000, it sold to a British collector at £11,500.

From the same source were two c.1918 lots painted with fruit by R. Sebright - a pair of plates which took £1750 from a local collector and a lobed fruit dish which went to the trade at £700.

"There seems to be a good body of private interest for Royal Worcester that keeps business for the trade rolling," said Andrew Hartley.

Notable Royal Worcester from a different private source included a reticulated porcelain ewer of ovoid form painted with swags of roses by H. Chair.

This delicately potted entry had a gilded frilled rim and a beaded girdle with pierced honeycomb banding.

In excellent condition, and highly sought after for its pierced body work, it was a must-have for the Australian collector who went to £3400 for ownership despite the cost of shipping and associated risk of damage.

He also bought a 12in (30cm) vase painted by H.Davis, dating to 1911, at £2800. Royal Worcester aside, one of the most unusual ceramics was a piece by Shelley.

The manufacturers, a target of collectors for some years now, are best known for their tableware but this was a porcelain shop advertising figure modelled as a well-heeled 1920s lady dressed in a hat and with a fox fur stole.

Marked several times with the famous logo and in good order, the figure fetched £1750 while the bold Viking longboat design and condition of a Burmantofts faience vase saw it realise £1400.

There were no blockbuster furniture entries but at least the take-up for this 228-lot section was surprisingly high, matching the sale average of 72 per cent largely as a result of the downwardly revised estimates on what was a more carefully selected group of consignments.

Top seller was a mahogany dining table extending to over 10ft (3m) which fetched £3000 while a pretty lady's inlaid mahogany writing desk took £1750 and a re-entered Robert 'Mouseman' Thompson adzed oak 6ft (1.83m) wide dresser, which failed to sell in April, took a mid-estimate £2800 second-time up.