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“It’s tough out there,” he said, adding that it was not a problem easily rectified. “It’s not a question of fixing lower reserves,” he said.
However, a £510,000 total would suggest all is not doom and gloom with the trade taking good traditional furniture such as an 8ft 8in (2.65m) George III mahogany breakfront bookcase with four gothic arched astragal doors over four panelled doors, at a sale-topping £6000 and Edwardian pieces also finding buyers such as a mahogany and marquetry kidney-shaped desk at £3100.

Less standard fare provided the main talking point – a 19th century Sino-Tibetan carved wood Buddha, 3ft 6in (1.07m), privately consigned from Hove. Although in poor condition with splits to the wood and a flaky gesso covering with only traces of the original paint, it attracted interest from several parties – including a local Buddhist – and it sold above estimate at £4600.

Good quality, fresh-to-the-market Art Deco and Art Nouveau entries also provided some sale highlights. One such was a Lorenzl bronze dancer, 14in (35.5cm) standing on tip-toe on an onyx column with her raised arm holding a scarf draped about her body. Although not in great condition, she took £2100 from the trade.

Hot on the dancer’s heels, a pair of Art Nouveau 8in (20cm) bronze wall lights, modelled as the head of a boy and a girl and signed G.de Kerveguen, took £2800 from the London trade.

Among the glass and ceramics were a Lalique clear and green tinted Milan vase and a Martinware stoneware vase. The Milan vase, engraved R.Lalique France, No.1025, and in good condition, went over hopes at £1800. The Martinware piece, incised with mythological birds, flowers and satyr masks on a beige ground had been converted into a a lamp but it had not been drilled or damaged and brought a double-estimate £2500.

Best of the silver was a 1906 Guild of Handicraft inkwell of tapered square form with a blue enamelled lid and studded corners. It was not in pristine condition but made £1700.