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A good Lenci Art Deco figure rose to the top at Fellows’ Birmingham sale. Modelled as a fashionable woman sitting on a bookcase with white-blonde bobbed hair, black shift dress with tartan scarf and matching cap, she stood 15in (38cm) high with painted marks including Torino 6 (XII). Estimated to bring up to £2500, she was competed to £4800 and sold over the Internet.

Sex sells best in this market so expectations were lower for a less alluring companion, 17in (43cm) high figure of a woman ready for the piste wearing a patterned head scarf, a cream fitted jacket, red mittens and brown ski trousers.

The figure was also slightly damaged so this time the highest bid in the room was a low-estimate £1500.

Figure groups by Royal Doulton from several house clearances made this a strong offering of 20th century ceramics.

Despite a broken thumb and some chips to the glaze, Mendicant HN1355, a Leslie Harradine figure of a beggar with a tambourine, introduced in 1929 and withdrawn by 1938 sold at £820; with a hairline crack and possible restoration to the head, Negligee HN1273, one of Harradine’s lovely ladies of the ’20s made by the factory between 1928 and 1936 made £740 while Damaris HN2079, a Peggy Davis figure made for just two years in the early 1950s brought £760.

However the most highly-rated of the group was The Pied Piper HN1215 that received a factory run between 1926 and 1938. It sold at £1100 (estimate £300-400).

A Doulton production from the late 19th or early 20th century, an 81/4in (21cm) twin-handled cylindrical form vase painted to the front with a young maiden standing among pink flowers and to the reverse with flowers signed by the highly-rated Arthur Leslie made £560.

One of the more deluxe issues from the Crown Devon factory, a coffee set (minus the coffee pot) painted variously with game birds and hunting dogs signed either R. Hinton, J. Coleman or W. Lamonby sold for £680 while a set of second issue Wade figures of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs made £400.

Consigned from a vendor in Norwich was a collection of Victorian portrait miniatures of historical personalities (all copies of well-known portraits) painted by W. Essex (1784-1869), Enamel Painter to Her Majesty & Prince Albert.

Estimated at £1200-1800 each were a 33/4in (9.5cm) oval of David Garrick inscribed Garrick the greatest of British actors excelled both in comedy and tragedy signed and dated 1856 plus a similarly-sized miniature of Shakespeare after the Chandos portrait signed and dated 1849 and inscribed with the quote We may have another Minton, but never another Shakespeare.

They took £1150 and £1100 respectively, not proving as popular as Oliver Cromwell in battle armour painted by the artist in July 1832 with the inscription From an original miniature in the British Museum by S. Cooper 1656. In a decorative gilt frame it made £1500.

Other favoured collectors’ items were a charming Austrian cold painted bronze figure of a Jack Russell terrier inspecting a rat in a metal cage, 5in (13cm) sold at £660 (estimate £200-300) and, knocked down at £2400 (estimate £1000-1500), a tabletop disc playing music box by Polyphon playing 193/4in (50cm) discs within a typical mahogany case with applied label reading Drop a Penny in the Slot, Nicole Freres Leipzig.

There was a lot of interest in the prime lot among the furniture, an early 20th century walnut and mahogany chest-on-chest, 4ft 3in wide by 5ft high (1.29 x 1.53m) and matching twin pedestal desk 4ft 6in (1.37m) wide.

A stylish production of the Cotswolds School or Guild of Handicrafts ilk – particularly handsome were the ebonised barber’s pole inlay and cast brass handles pierced with heart motifs – it was bought for £7500 (estimate £1500-2500) by a specialist dealer.

Fellows & Sons, Birmingham, July 1
Number of lots: 302
Number of lots sold: 80 per cent
Sale total: n/a
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent