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Among the pieces were a number of masks which the Thanet vendor had commissioned for a research project into masquerade in 18th century Venice.

They were created by Venetian craftsmen using papier-mâché, gold leaf and Murano glass in a tradition dating back to the 14th century and have since been seen at the Royal Opera House and the Notting Hill carnival.

The best seller of the collection was a papier-mâché Jolly Joker carnival mask, with a white painted face with gilt, red and black detail around the eyes and lips and a headdress of ornate printed scrolled card in a plume form hung with bells.
Carrying hopes of up to £120, the mask went to an Australian collector at £160. This success was followed by a Jolly Joker half mask which a local collector took at £130.

On more familiar ground, the popular Moorcroft topped the ceramics section. A 53/4in (15cm) high Florian vase with tapered sides and moulded neck caught the eye of a West Country dealer.

The vase, which was decorated in wine and mauve on a brown and blue ground in the Revived Cornflower/ Brown Chrysanthemum pattern, was dated 1910-1913 to the underside and signed in underglaze green. Against an £800-1000 estimate, the vase took £1150.

The same West Country dealer also took a pair of 81/4in (21cm) high Florian ware vases with flared rims decorated in blue and light blue with a lily pattern to the lower half and forget-me-nots to the necks. Despite restoration to one of the vases. the pair got away on the top estimate £1250.

Other ceramic successes included a pair of 19th century Derby porcelain figures of Mansion House dwarfs, slightly damaged but rating a mid-estimate £740 from a private collector.

Best of the furniture was a privately entered set of eight (6 + 2) mahogany dining chairs of Chippendale design with shaped and moulded crest rails with carved leaf ornament to the centre and fretted interlaced vase pattern splats.
Against a £1500-2000 estimate the chairs went to an Ashford private buyer at £2800.

From an Ashford private came a late Victorian figured rosewood square envelope card table. The top leaves of the 2ft by 2ft 5in (61 x 74cm) table were inlaid in boxwood and ivorine with urns of leaves and fruit and bold leaf scroll ornament. Estimated at £1000-1500, the table was contested to £2300 by yet another private buyer.

Canterbury Auction Galleries December 4
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent</b.