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Among four pieces of Lalique was the Serpent vase. The innovate Model 896 was designed in 1924 and produced until, it is believed, just after the War.

K&O’s 10½in (26.5cm) tall example had everything going for it. With the intaglio mark R Lalique, it was relatively early – the amber colour is the rarest in the range and it was in perfect condition.

It was estimated at £10,0000- 12,000 and three hopefuls from France, the US and South Africa pursued it over the phones. It sold to a UK collector using thesaleroom.com at £15,000.

Five stoneware pieces by Robert Wallace Martin showed that the market for the trademark pieces produced by the four brothers at the Martinware Pottery in Fulham and Southall from the 1870s to 1924 remains active – but also, that currently prices for good but not exceptional pieces do have a ceiling.

The 10¼in (26cm) grotesque ‘Monk’ bird, signed and dated 4 5 1911, went to a UK collector online within estimate at £19,000.

Another British collector took a c.1880 jug modelled as either a squirrel or a rat. Standing 9½in (24cm) tall, it went on its lower £12,000 estimate.

However, guides proved too bullish on a three grotesques pitched at prices between £30,000-50,000. Each was bid to within 10% of the lower estimates, but were brought in.

Oz and Worcester 

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A pair of Harry Davis Royal Worcester vases – £4200 at Kingham & Orme.

The long-standing Australian love affair with Royal Worcester brought a more positive reaction for 8in (20.5m) blush ivory pedestal vases. The scenes of shire horses and figures were painted in 1907 by one of the factory’s finest artists Harry Davis.

Bearing puce marks and number 1618, the pair was pitched at £2600-3000 and went Down Under at £4200.