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French boulle cabinets – £10,000 at Stroud Auctions.

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A pair of Napoleon III French boulle cabinets pitched at £1000-2000 sold over the phone at £10,000 and is heading to China.

The 4ft 10in (1.48m) wide cabinets benefited enormously from the ‘power of the pair’.

Decorated with marble tops, crisp ormolu mounts and detailed brass and tortoiseshell marquetry work, they were better quality than many French revivalist pieces.

The ‘lapis’ blue boulle panels to the pilasters were also unusual while the interiors were veneered in mahogany.

Toby jugs

This was one of the few four-figure estimates in the January 8-10 marathon. Another, a full set of 11 toby jug figures of leaders of the Allies in First World War designed by Sir Francis Carruthers Gould and produced by Wilkinson, was offered with a duplicate jug of Marshal Foch and with the Sloane & Smith retailer’s mark. The set was pitched at £2000-4000 and sold at £4400 to a UK online bidder.

Dotted through the sale were successes which, as they were generally fully catalogued, could not be called sleepers, but went way above modest estimates.

One was a late 19th-early 20th century, 17 x 13in (46 x 33) Meiji silk panel embroidered with a Pekingese dog and peacock feathers.

The original glazed cushion frame was labelled S Iida, Takashimaya for Iida Shinshichi, one of the leading Meiji producers of ornamental textiles.

Against a £400-800 estimate, the silk sold to a UK collector over the phone at £5900.