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The oldest offering was a pair of 16th cast iron andirons, featuring moulded Tudor roses and crowns, goblets and fleur de lys to the 15in (38cm) tall pillar columns. On later back legs, the pair sold on the lower £300 estimate to a Channel Islands private buyer who went on to buy a number of lots.

Most costly of the 11 sets of andirons on offer was a very decorative pair of 17th century wrought steel examples with 22in (56cm) tall columns topped by gadrooned brass finials. These crept out of the three-figure league, doubling the estimate at £1100.

Six of the nine cast-iron firebacks sold. Successful bids started at £150, but the 23in (58cm) square Carolean piece bearing the Prince of Wales feathers, and pattern maker’s initials IL, sold above estimate at £750.

Many fireside accoutrements are a shadow of their former selves in the auction room. Among six sets of bellows, a late 18th century lacquered pair sold below estimate at £100, while an 18th century brass and wrought iron couvre feu or ‘curfew’ used to cover an unattended open fire took £280.