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“We store and stockpile our best consignments,” said BBR specialist Alan Blakeman, who nevertheless said the 92 per cent take-up by lot fell short of their more usual 97/98 per cent selling rate, attributing the drop in part to the exchange rate.

“Americans can’t compete with the strength of the pound. In the last 18 months we have noticed a drop-off in American interest.” UK buyers took home the lion’s share of the best entries in this 205-lot sale that totalled £86,131.

The undisputed highlight was a dated onion wine bottle with a large crisp seal, Philip Bennett 1707. Not only was this full-bodied bottle a sought-after early pre-1710 example, it was an unusually small size at 5in (13cm) tall. Originally bought by the vendor together with two other bottles from a Kensington Church Street glass dealer for £3200 in the last decade or so, it proved a solid investment, selling to an English collector at £11,000.

“The serious bottle market has really taken-off in the last two or three years,” said Alan Blakeman. The strength of this market was confirmed by the price bid for the second bottle bought by this vendor from the Kensington Church Street glass dealer and consigned here.

The dark olive green dated sealed bladder bottle, R.H. 1733, had a more unusual form than the onion bottle and fetched £7500 from a German collector.

Elsewhere, a punchy £3200 was placed by a UK collector to secure a stoneware Crimean War reform flask impressed Peace Proclaimed April 29 1856 and War Declared March 28 1854. Formerly in the Bob Davidson collection (the majority of which was dispersed two years ago at BBR), this had been bought from a different Kensington Church Street dealer within the last decade for £975.

BBR Auctions, Elsecar, July 6
Buyer’s premium: 10 per cent