With the house currently on the market for £7.5m, the items were sold on the instruction of the estate’s executors at the auction on November 18.

A number of lots from the consignment drew strong interest, not least the spectacular competition that came for a Florentine Old Master, making one of the highest prices for a painting sold in the provinces this year.

1. Italian Old Master awakens

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Catalogued as in the “manner of Filippo (Filippino) Lippi (c.1406-69)”, this Madonna and Child drew heated bidding against a £6000-9000 estimate and was eventually knocked down on the phone at £135,000. It was among the works from Le Pavilion, the source that provided a number of the Tennants sale’s top lots. The 2ft 7in x 19.75in (79 x 50cm) oil on panel with arched top was described as “in excellent condition”. It depicted the Madonna seated before a ledge with a chaffinch and cherries. The infant St John appears in the background along with a view of an estuary. A label on the verso was inscribed Alesso Baldovinetti – another Florentine painter who was a contemporary of both Filippo and Filippino Lippi. The composition would appear to conform to a type produced in Renaissance Italy and it seems likely that bidders detected a strong link to 15th century Florence.

2. Rubens’ sister in law

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Also from the Le Pavilion consignment, a Flemish portrait catalogued as “Workshop of Peter Paul Rubens” drew strong interest, exceeding a £25,000-40,000 estimate and knocked down at £65,000. The model appears to be Susanne Fourment, the artist’s sister-in-law who posed for a number of portraits, and this particular example relates closely to a similar (but not identical) workshop painting which had entered Hermann Goring’s collection during the Second World War but was subsequently restored to a French collection in 1945. This three-quarter-length portrait at Tennants, however, had been in the UK for some time, with provenance to 19th century classical scholar Hugh Andrew Johnstone Munro and kept at his house in Hamilton Place, London.

3. Lord Byron’s dog collar

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Another item at the Tennants sale that cannot have been an easy lot to estimate came from a separate source – a brass dog collar which had once belonged to the poet Lord Byron’s beloved Newfoundland dog, Boatswain. The dog died of rabies in 1808 after being bitten by another dog in Mansfield, and the grief-stricken Byron erected a monument at Newstead Abbey and composed his famous Epitaph to a Dog. The link to Byron was strengthened by the fact that a similar collar can be found in the Newstead Abbey Collection and documentation that came with the lot tracing the item back to its original sale certified by Byron's gamekeeper's widow. The auctioneers plumped for a £3000-5000 pitch, but this level was easily surpassed on the day as it was knocked down at £14,000 to a buyer in the room.

4. Hamilton’s unusual silver jug

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One of the most sought-after lots in the silver section of the Tennants sale was a George II Irish silver cream jug that was estimated at £700-1000. With a maker's mark for John Hamilton, Dublin c.1730-40, the 5in (12cm) high jug had naturalistic swan handle which made it unusual. It also had an engraving to the front with a crest of seven ears of wheat. Drawing significant bidding, it was eventually knocked down at £6500.

5. Brooch with Royal interest

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This turquoise and diamond brooch was purchased by the vendor’s late father from a jeweller in Skipton in the 1940s as a gift to his wife. However, it had an inscription on the verso reading Had belonged to dear grandmama V. From Mama V.R. 14th April 1871. To Beatrice. It was believed to have belonged to Victoria, Duchess of Kent who, upon her death in 1861, left her it to her daughter, Queen Victoria, who in turn gave it to her own youngest daughter, Princess Beatrice, on her 14th birthday. Estimated at £3000-5000, it was knocked down at £7500.