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"There's not much point in a man giving his wife a diamond necklace on December 28, for instance," he said.

Many a wife might, presumably, disagree with that but there was plenty of material in the sale which would delight wives or children on Christmas Day and certainly pleased the vendors.

Two of the three such pieces are illustrated here.

The Victorian/Edwardian diamond and opal fringe necklace formed from a tiara and the pair of matching ear pendants may well be a Christmas present. Two private buyers beat off trade interest then fought it out until one of them took the jewels at £5600. The early 20th century Steiff bear, 19in (49cm) tall, with button to the left ear and defective growler was never likely to have found its way into the stocking of a child. In good overall condition, although possibly with a restitched nose, it went to a provincial trade specialist at £3200.

The 19th century rocking horse on traditional sleigh rockers needed some restoration but was a good size at 4ft 7in (1.40m) tall - "more horse than a pony".

Estimated at up to £1200 it went to a specialist rocking horse dealer at £2800.