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It opened at £3000 without any bids and was passed.

I then enquired how much it needed to fetch and was informed it needed £6000 plus. Is this cynical marketing? If not, perhaps one of your readers could explain it to me.

Peter Hounslow

Acorn Antiques

Dulverton, Somerset

ATG replies: Legally the reserve needs to be at or below the low estimate.

A bid of £5000 in this case would have secured the item during the auction. But, in the event of an after-sale, it is up to the parties (auctioneer and vendor) to decide at what level they wish to sell.

There is no obligation to sell at the low estimate or the reserve after the auction.