Joy Barnes (b.1912), a life-long artist and local Somerset resident who turns 100 next month, was present in the saleroom to watch her collection of Modern British art and studio ceramics sold by Greenslade Taylor Hunt in Taunton.
The hammer total of £723,000 for 165 lots assembled over 40 years was a house record for the auctioneers, as was the £325,000 realised by the front cover lot, the 8½in (21cm) wide alabaster carving Small Oval by Dame Barbara Hepworth (1903-75).
Dated 1963 and sold by the Gimpel Fils Gallery in London the following year, it was purchased by Joy Barnes from the New Art Centre in Salisbury. The buyer, who had to go well above the £50,000-80,000 estimate on September 20, was an anonymous bidder on the telephone.
The buyer's premium was 17.5%.