15-04-10-2186NE01A Hunt and Roskell.jpg
A pair of Victorian novelty salts by Hunt & Roskell that sold for £18,000 at Catherine Southon.

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The buyer, who trebled the low estimate at the auction on March 25, was bidding from Australia on the-saleroom.com against competition on the phones.

Catherine recalled seeing them for the first time at a valuation day before Christmas: "I was so excited when I was greeted with a pair of dark green drawstring felt pouches, I knew I was in for a good ride. Although these pouches often hold gold or silver, it was the pointed ears that were sticking out of the top of them that intrigued me. As I pulled at the cord and opened up one of them, the object just got better and better. The owners had no idea how long they had been in the family and had found them in a box in the loft."

The salts were hallmarked for London 1854 and 1856 with the spoons probably associated.

Kangaroos provide the subject for some of the most desirable of all Victorian novelty silver. A ewer by Walter and John Barnard, 1882, sold for £24,000 at Chorley's of Gloucestershire in 2009. A glass and silver claret jug by Sampson Mordan of the same date took for £50,000 as part of the James Walker collection at Christie's South Kensington in 2006.

The buyer's premium at Catherine Southon was 18%.