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Although they now face competition from Salisbury-based Woolley & Wallis, who hosted their third Clarice Cliff sale on September 2, Gardiner Houlgate remain confident of continuing to attract fresh collections with realistic estimates.

“It is a building process and you have to establish yourself as a principal player,” said specialist David Hare. Two large Cliff collections – from Blackpool and from Tamworth, Staffordshire – comprised around half of the 115-lot section that boasted an 80 per cent selling rate by lot. Overall, the 400-lot auction had a 70 per cent take-up.

The foremost Cliff piece was a 6in (15cm) Appliqué Palermo Bizarre conical jug. The brightly patterned vessel was in excellent condition and sold within estimate to a Norwich collector at £2400.

“The conical form is a nice shape and the Appliqué range is one of the most collectable designs and always commands four figures in good condition,” said Mr Hare.

By contrast, the slightly less desirable design on the 61/4in (16cm) Cowslip Fantastique Bizarre conical jug, also in good condition, resulted in it fetching a more modest £750.

A Newlyn Trieste Tea for Two set had some damage to one cup and sugar bowl but still brought a £1600 trade bid, while a stunning, 8in (20cm), Lightning Bizarre Bowness jardinière, in excellent condition seemed good value at £1300 for the Norwich collector who secured it.

Art Deco bronzes and glass by leading makers headlined the decorative arts section.

Privately entered by the Blackpool vendor, a Lorenzl gilt bronze figure of a nude female poised on an onyx stand, fetched £2100 from the London trade.

Elsewhere, a Lalique Naiades glass easel clock of square form from a local private estate and sporting a here-to-sell £500-800 estimate took £2100 from a collector.

Gardiner Houlgate, Corsham September 3
Buyer’s premium: 15 per cent