THE point is often made that so-called apprentice pieces or miniatures will command more than their lifesize equivalents. This was certainly the case with the diminutive oak bureau pictured right, a meticulously made and finely-preserved 16 1/2in (42cm) wide 18th century replica of an otherwise standard Georgian form. Estimated at £3000-4000, it proved the winner on an otherwise difficult day at the Netherhampton Salerooms (15% buyer’s premium) on April 28 when it sold at £6000.


The following day saw carpet specialists June Barrett and Ian Bennett complete their move from Salisbury's Woolley & Wallis with their first sale at nearby Netherhampton.

There were no takers for the superb, but punchily-estimated, late Stuart needlework casket - and some problematic areas saw a selling rate of around 60 per cent - but there were two outstanding results to report.

It had a section removed to accommodate a fireplace and other shallow pieces were lost, but there was much to admire about an Ushak 'fancy Turkey' carpet probably made in west Anatolia in the mid 19th century. It was large at 22ft 11in by 15ft 3in (6.98 x 4.65m), the blue-green ground was both attractive and unusual, and the date makes it relatively early for a Turkey carpet.

It trebled hopes at £15,500.

There was also predictable competition for an English Arts and Crafts rug made by Morris and Co. at Merton Abbey in the early years of the 20th century.

Measuring 7ft 1in by 4ft (2.16 x 1.22m), its design of stylised foliage in shades of green, blue, cream and brown was typical of John Henry Dearle, Morris' first weaving apprentice in 1878, who by 1890 had become the firm's chief designer. In nice condition, it skipped modest expectations to bring £8500.