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Auctioneer Nigel Papworth put down the encouraging success to being able to offer privately owned fresh to market material with a local and national appeal and mentioned (ahem) the Antiques Trade Gazette’s catalogue production service which meant prospective buyers could view the sale on the ATG Website.

The principal private source was the estate of the late Hubert Johnson and, more specifically, all the pieces he had inherited from his father Allan who is remembered locally as the author of a number of books about Suffolk and as the curator of his own museum of bygones, housed in a railway carriage, at Westleton.

These pieces had been collected as examples of their kind rather than for their condition which left a lot to be desired in many cases.

Bids, however, were keen enough, with dealers and collectors both active.

Among the Jobson ceramics were a 63/4in (17cm) Prattware teapot and a 61/2in (16.5cm) 19th century Redware high-glazed money bank, both of which did much better than expected.

The teapot with a bird on a bough to one panel and the motto Love Is Pure, Death Is Sure to another brought £800 and the money bank in the form of a house made £480.

Best of the ceramics, much as expected, was a George Jones majolica sardine dish, 61/2in (16.5cm) long with shell scroll and seaweed decoration to the base and cover with a clam finial. It sold at £1250.

The Jobson material also included some treen which also mainly went well above (unprinted) estimates.

These included three Friesland mangling boards, the earliest a 17th/18th century example carved in red walnut. Measuring 2ft 10in (86cm) long with pierced six-roundel and cable twist top, it sold at £1000.

There was also a painted dummy board of a cavalier in 18th century style but of 19th century manufacture. Standing at 3ft 21/2in (98cm) tall it sold at £1450.

From other sources came some attractive pieces of Tunbridgeware, the best seller also appealing to the separate, and even keener, market for tea caddies.

Illustrated bottom right, the best seller here was a figured walnut and Tunbridgeware domed top example, 101/2in by 61/2in, the lid inlaid with a fortified building enclosing two mosaic bordered internal lids. It had some minor damage but sold to the Suffolk trade at £780.

As usual, the day’s higher prices came among the furniture.

Top seller, a Jobson consignment, was an early 18th century walnut chest on chest, with moulded cornice above three long drawers flanked by fluted canted corners and a base with a secretaire drawer and two further drawers.

Sadly, Mr Papworth had to point out to interested parties that the secretaire drawer was a later alteration, probably 19th century. Had it been original, he mused, a high five-figure price would have been assured.

As it was, the piece still did well going to a London dealer at £8200.

Measuring a hefty enough
5ft 6in by 3ft 6in (1.68 x 1.07m)
it was a typical 19th century mahogany partners’ desk, a currently popular item.

With moulded edge top, three moulded outline frieze drawers to either side and twin pedestals, each with three drawers either side, a West Country dealer went to £6500 to secure it.

Another sizeable 19th century piece to do well was a figured walnut breakfront side cabinet, 7ft 2in (2.18m) wide with arched foliate and scroll carved back rail with central ormolu mask and a central pair of glazed doors with ormolu mouldings and flanked by two mirror glass panel doors.

Such 19th century exuberance has had its ups and downs over the last few years but this side cabinet went to the Suffolk trade at £4000.

Finally, a mention of purely decorative values without which no sale is complete these days – at Felixstowe they came in the form of a 3ft 6in (1.06m) spelter figure after Moreau of a maiden holding a branch with light fittings to the flowerheads.

One of the day’s surprises, it sold at £1350.

Diamond Mills, Felixstowe, March 14
Number of lots: 484
Number of lots sold: 439
Sale total: £125,000
Buyer’s premium: 11.75 per cent