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WAS Benson brass mantel clock sold for £5000 at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet.

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“With a sale total of more than £100,000 and an 80% sell-through rate, this was one of our monthly bread-and-butter sales which complement our specialist offerings,” he said. “Such a strong showing so early in January augurs very well indeed.”

The 10in (15.5cm) tall clock with a French drum movement is a variation of model No 2090 illustrated in the Useful and Artistic Gifts catalogue produced by Benson (1854-1924), one of the great names of the Arts & Crafts movement.

Model 2090, also illustrated in Benson’s Christmas Catalogue, was originally at the cheaper end of the five models produced by Benson & Co, but, even so, the £80-120 estimate looked very tempting. A bidding battle on the phones took the hammer price to £5000.

Schooling said that “buyers were itching to have a go after the Christmas and New Year break”. Their purchases included a Jacques of London ebony and boxwood Staunton chess set at £1100, and a Victorian burr walnut Wellington chest of seven drawers at £1050.