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Stevengraphs have never come anywhere near the huge prices they were fetching 25 years ago but it seems pot lids are making something of a comeback.

“Currently ‘the hots’” was specialist auctioneer Alan Blakeman’s succinct summing up of these collectables after the latest sale in South Yorkshire.

The best seller was a 23/4in (7cm) lid of Johnson’s Celebrated Ointment – proudly showing the factory near Crewe where this medicinal compound was made.

A rare piece, it was expected to make up to £300 but sold at £450.

Dubious medicine generally went down well with the crowds of collectors who came for the sale and the accompanying fair.

Going over hopes was the day’s best seller, a 103/4in (27cm) tall olive amber glass embossed Handysides Consumption Cure. The only example known in this colour, the bottle sold at £750.

‘Black’ glass was also tipped as a coming area for collectors with some strong prices including £300 – double the lower estimate – on a 61/2in 16.5cm) tall English onion bottle, c.1690-1700 in dark olive green with good body sheen.

BBR, Elsecar, March 4
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent