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The Japonesque manner of this parcel gilt tea set, right, offered at Lawrences’ sale at Crewkerne aligned it with the Aesthetic movement, while the hammered finish and archaic handles showed Arts and Crafts influences. This fusion of popular styles ensured strong bidding on the 31oz service by Martin Hall and Co., London 1879 – the final price of £4200 was more than four times the lower estimate.

Top price of the silver was bid for a Victorian gilt inkstand of rococo design by Charles Thomas Fox and George Fox, London 1850. The figure of Britannia on the wafer box, the nautical/agricultural emblems at the feet of the putti on the two inkwell covers, implied that the stand had been made for a wealthy, colonial merchant. The silver weighed 75oz, the white onyx stand about 5lbs,
and the ensemble sold to the London trade at £6800.

The most unusual entry was a 17th century hexagonal parcel gilt dish which was identified as Hungarian,
possibly for alms. Inscribed with the name Seredi Venedek Wlakiborbala and dated 1696, the 81/2in (21.5cm) dish had been consigned by a local family and sold to the trade at £4200.