Five from a lot of 27 late 19th and early 20th century cod bottles – £6600 at Canterbury Auction Galleries.

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Over the decades, the collector had graduated from digging to trading. He had been a regular at Canterbury Auction Galleries (22.5% buyer’s premium) since it opened in 1991 and it was here where his descendants consigned the collection.

Offered in 12 single or multi-lots at the online sale on August 6-7, the 140 bottles were expected to bring £1450-1980.

Six collectors dominated the bidding and, spotting rarities among the multi-lots, took the total to a shade above £16,000.

Topping the collection was a 27-strong group by names such as R White, Camberwell and Ray Soda Water Manufacturer, Grey Coat Place, Westminster and including two Continental pieces. Mainly in pale green with two blue-tinted, the group was pitched at £80-120 and sold at £6600.

A very similar mixed group of 24 late 19th/early 20th century bottles with the same guide sold at £4300.

Eye for quality


Chinese jade pendant – £4700 at Canterbury Auction Galleries.

The man who assembled the collection had an eye for quality beyond his favourite subject and one of his many other buys at Canterbury had been a 19th century white jade Chinese pendant.

Measuring 2 x 2¼in (5 x 5.5cm), it was pierced and carved with a bird and tree and quadrupled mid expectations when it sold to a US-based Chinese buyer at £4700.

Canadian clock fan

Overseas online buyers were a feature of the two-day sale. The best clock, a 19th century burr walnut, ebonised and gilt-brass-mounted bracket clock by Thomas Mercer, London, went on the lower £3500 estimate to a Canadian.

Illustrating the strong market in top-quality costume jewellery, a paste set of tremblant jewels, a necklace, brooch and earrings by Mitchel Mayer for Christian Dior went to an online German bidder at £1650, just over six times the low estimate.


A 5in gauge steam loco – £1850 at Canterbury Auction Galleries.

Resolutely to British tastes was a 5in gauge scratch-built scale model of the steam loco Sweetpea that had been used as a children’s ride at Mote Park, Maidstone.

Although requiring a new boiler certificate, it will continue to give rides to raise cash for charity now it has been sold to an enthusiast with his own track who secured it at a mid-estimate £1850.