Capping a sell-out sale of the first instalment of a private collection of nutmeg graters at Woolley and Wallis on April 20 was this unusual Victorian novelty specimen fashioned as a hinged strawberry, which sold for £8200.

The 1.5in (4cm) piece, naturalistically worked with a part matt, part polished finish and marked for Hilliard and Thomason, Birmingham 1856, was secured by a buyer in the room against several trade and private bidders and a number of telephones.

The price is not far short of what is thought to be the auction high for a nutmeg grater, the £8500 paid at Christie's in 1998 for the George II grater that once belonged to Prime Minister Robert Walpole.

The Walpole grater was acquired by Woolley and Wallis' vendor and will appear in the second sale of the collection at the Salisbury rooms in October.