In the event, however, it was an old-fashioned wide-ranging success with pieces ranging across 24 centuries – many garnered at valuation mornings – finding keen buyers.
Earliest offering on February 8-9 was a 4th century BC Greek red-figure rhyton, an animal-headed drinking vessel.
Modelled as a bull’s head, it had, said the vendor, been discovered by his grandfather in the 1950s while footings were being dug for a new house at Ercolano: ancient Herculaneum.
The 8½in (21.5cm) long vessel decorated with winged figures holding wreaths was estimated at £2000-3000 and sold at £5100 to a North American online buyer against stiff competition from a room bidder.
Another example of the range of material which turns up on valuation days was a printed copy of the minutes of the White Star Line Special Meeting, held on April 22, 1912, to discuss the sinking of the Titanic just eight days earlier.
Comprising three leaves, with black mourning-line, borders, the minutes were circulated among the ‘Various Steamers of the Fleet and the Offices of the Company’, and marked private.
This example, estimated at £800- 1200, went to an Isle of Wight collector at £2100.
Topping the day was a stainless steel Rolex Oyster Perpetual Submariner Ref 1680. In its original green box and complete with papers the 1977 tool watch was pitched at £8000-10,000 and went at £14,000 to a collector bidding via thesaleroom.com.
Antique pocket watches are typically outsold by post-war mechanical wristwatches these days. Here a handsome gold full hunter watch with a minute repeater striking on two gongs doubled expectations in going to a collector at £4000. It was hallmarked London 1913 and signed J. W. Benson, 62 & 64 Ludgate Hill, London, No. 2602.
Among the works of art, a late 19th or early 20th century Italian carved white marble figure of winged Victory led the way.
The 3ft 2in (96cm) tall figure holding aloft a laurel wreath and bearing a shield initialled SPQR, came from a deceased estate and more than tripled top estimate in selling to a local bidder at £3200.
Topping the furniture was the Charles and Ray Eames classic featured in Auction Reports, ATG No 2433.
Among the more traditional fare was an 8ft 1in tall x 9ft 3in wide (3.82 x 4.3m) William IV mahogany breakfront bookcase with four glazed panelled doors above cupboards. In need of some restoration, it doubled the estimate at £2100.