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Top sellers, at £3900 apiece were two mahogany extending dining table, which each more than tripled their estimates.

One was an early Victorian example, a modest 6ft 5in long but an impressive 4ft 2in wide (1.96 x 1.26m) with two extra leaves which made its money despite the A/F catalogue caveat.

The other was cautiously catalogued as “in the George IV taste”. Raised on a turned, ringed baluster column and splayed quadruped supports, the 6ft 5in (1.96m) table had been given a top estimate of just £1000.

Also going way over estimate was an unusual pair of early 19th century mahogany writing tables. Each with a central section rising on a brass ratchet and with a leather inset surface hinged for a book ledge and featuring pen and inkwell recesses, they had both originally measured 3ft 9in by 181/2in (1.14m x 47cm) but one had been cut down, hence, no doubt, the £500-1000 estimate. Bidders thought more highly of the pair and they sold at £3400.

Unexpectedly high bids outside the furniture included £1400 on a Hornby model of the Princess Elizabeth loco, damage to which was reflected in the £200-300 estimate, and a five-times estimate £1650 on a 30-hour early 18th century brass wall clock with a 71/4in (18.5cm) square dial signed R.Gauge, Dirdington.

Best of the ceramics were two Royal Doulton limited edition character jugs, both with certificates, which were each estimated at an apparently reasonable £150-200. On the day, however, one of Guy Fawkes (No. 271/600) made £640 and the other, of The Village Blacksmith, (No. 338/600) sold at £620.