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The 612 lots covered almost every aspect of collecting, from a pair of silver armorial sauce tureens and covers by Wakelin & Garrard, London 1793, which went to a UK collector at a top-estimate £2000, to a 2ft 2in (66cm) wide chromium-plated steel Screw Mobile KMI, by Kenneth Martin (1905-84) which took a five-times top estimate £3000 from a northern English private buyer.

Only eight of 113 furniture lots failed to get away in a selection bringing mostly three figures overall, but with some surprise bids from UK dealers. An Edwardian satinwood two-stage display cabinet took a 10-times estimate £3600 and a Regency brass-inlaid coromandel card table with folding swivel top took £1950 against much lower printed expectations.

Ceramics stars

Top prices of the day, however, came for the two ceramics stars.

While the rest of the 14 Moorcroft lots sold – as expected – in two or three figures, an early 20th century tube lined vase signed in green and bearing the Liberty & Co mark was estimated at £1800-2500. The 9in (23cm) waisted cylindrical vase, painted with the Eventide pattern, sold to a UK buyer at £4500.

The other ceramics star was a 9½in (24cm) diameter plate from the famous Raphael Service commissioned from the Imperial Porcelain Factory in St Petersburg by Tsar Alexander III in 1883 and completed in 1903.

It comprised 50 full-place settings and for the past 100 years pieces from it have appeared on the market. The Hartleys offering, bearing the gilt cipher of Tsar Nicholas II below a crown, was estimated at £1000-1500 and sold to a Continental bidder at £4000.