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This large collectable group had no trouble eclipsing its modest £500-600 estimate selling at £4900, while continuing demand from wealthy farmers for unusual Beswick farm animals saw an Eaton Wild Eyes 91st dairy shorthorn with a calf fetch £1350.

The biggest surprise for the auctioneers was the reaction to a French Empire glass vase, engraved to one side with Napoleon standing at a fireplace with a lady kneeling before him and to the other with mounted officers removing a dead soldier from a battlefield.

Although it was lacking its handles and had been broken at the base, its quality and subject matter attracted several buyers who pursued it to £3000.

Also finding a ready home was a mahogany-cased bracket clock by the London maker James Forsyth. Standing 17 3/4in (45cm) high, this elegant, bell-topped timepiece was contested to £4500.

Elsewhere, the quality of a couple of the modern diamond jewellery entries would not have looked out of place in a Geneva sale, with an 18ct white gold single stone 9.38ct tinted yellow diamond ring exceeding pre-sale expectations at £23,500.