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Marble Egyptian head – £4400 at Hartleys.

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However, compensations certainly emerged in other areas of what he said was “the most mixed selection of different items to be offered in a single sale” at the Ilkley rooms.

Top of the 727-lot variety bill was a carved marble Egyptian head. No date was essayed in the catalogue and the sole provenance was a 1917 Egyptian bill of sale.

Nevertheless, the 16in (40cm) tall head, possibly from a wall carving, was estimated at £3000-4000 and sold at £4400 to a European dealer – one of a number of strong Continental bids on the day.

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Bronze/ ivory figures attributed to Poertzel – £3200 at Hartleys.

Among the works of art was an Art Deco cold painted bronze and ivory figure group of two young ladies wearing blue tinted hats and sailor suits.

Standing 5¾in (14.5cm) tall, the figures were unmarked but the polished onyx base was marked Prof [Otto] Poertzel and the figures were attributed to the German sculptor. Estimated at £500-700, the group sold to the Continental trade at £3200.

New bidder

Best of the silver was a pair of Arts & Crafts candlesticks by William Hutton & Son, London, 1903. Featuring tapering cylindrical stems with peacock enamel panels, the 7¾in (19.5cm) tall sticks sold to a northern English bidder new to the rooms at a mid-estimate £3000.

‘Miscellany’ included a 5ft (1.49m) tall ‘ordinary’ (penny-farthing) bicycle which more than doubled the top estimate in going to a German collector at £3200.

As to the furniture, not everything underperformed. Top-seller was a 5ft 11in wide x 2ft 8in high mid-late 17th century oak low dresser.

With a moulded edged plank top over an arrangement of nine drawers each featuring twin panelled mitre moulded fronts and brass pear drop handles, it was estimated at £1000-1500 but sold to the local trade at £2900.