THE chances of finding good-quality tribal material in the remoter parts of Cumbria may be slim but a local vendor furnished Mitchells' (15% buyer's premium) 1294-lot March 4-5 outing with a 19th century African carved wooden headrest.
In good condition, and with a good colour, it generated interest from specialist tribal buyers and sold to a collector at £1150 against pre-sale hopes of £20-40.
A second entry to leave its estimate standing was an 18th century delft plate decorated in blue, green and pink and with a central inscription FGM 1746. Buyers always pay a premium for documentary ceramics. Although this piece was cracked in half a dozen places, it sold at £800 against a £50-80 guideline.
The most expensive lot was an Edwardian mahogany dining table, circular when closed but with an additional two rectangular leaves extending it to 9ft 2in (2.78m) in length. The dealer who took it at £4200 bought it specifically for the top, and the base has been consigned for a future sale.
Two dealers felt confident enough of the original condition of a late 17th century oak wainscot chair to take it to £3700, while a William III Cumberland oak court cupboard, in need of some work, was apparently such an exact fit for the alcove of a local private buyer’s house that he went to £2900 for ownership.
Another private buy was a Lancashire mahogany mule chest, the colour and condition of which made it a must-have for the new owner who outbid the trade at £3400.
Among the smalls, a Charles Hill 1864 patent Royal Club corkscrew went to an American commission bidder at £1800.