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More than 250 pieces of the Derbyshire spar, predominantly two collections with some later additions, made this the largest dispersal of its type in living memory. The selling rate at the auction on October 5 was 95%.

Leading proceedings at £21,000 (plus 20% buyer's premium) was this late 18th century urn with ormolu mounts which measured 16in (41cm) high and was attributed to the Boulton workshop.

This particular vase, illustrated in the reference work The History of Blue John Stone, was formerly in the collection of the Ollerenshaw family who are the current owner of the blue john mine.

Philadelphia Sale

Fellows were not the only firm selling blue john in October. The following day on October 6, Freeman's of Philadelphia offered 16 lots of blue john from the estate of New York collectors Theodore and Aristea S. Halkedis.

These lots all sold - including a pair of c.1790 neoclassical urns on Ashford marble pedestals, which measured 13.5in (33cm) and were knocked down at $13,500 (£9245).