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Nicholas Granger of British Bespoke Auctions together with saleroom mascot Bella.

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Granger said there was a 50% increase in new bidders registered to the sale and over 750 in total.

“We have adhered to government guidelines. This sale exceeded expectations and under these difficult constraints people have been very supportive.”

Devon auctioneer Michael Bowman conducted an auction from his home over the weekend of March 28-29 with staff feeding through bids via speaker phone. Bowman said the sale seemed “at least as successful as any other I have held in recent times”.

Over at East Bristol Auctions, a successful sale of 257 lots from the estate of the actor Peter Wyngarde was held on March 26.

Auctioneer Andy Stowe said: “The rostrum was my dining room table, with the dog asleep at my feet. I operated the software myself, which was surprisingly easy. I felt more like a YouTuber than an auctioneer, but it was a great experience – and one we’ll be repeating soon. We had lots of new bidders and the feedback has been completely lovely.”