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Pieces from a c.1820 Greek-pattern Spode dinner service – £6000 at Elstob & Elstob.

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There are exceptions: one such was a 65-piece dinner service offered at the Elstob & Elstob (22% buyer’s premium) 1400-lot sale in Ripon on February 29-March 1.

It was in the Greek pattern, which enjoyed a successful production run for more than a century after being introduced in 1806.

Buyers had the option of about 40 scenes from antiquity to choose from, including the Wreath for the Victor design on the dinner plates offered in this North Yorkshire auction.

Key to this service’s attraction was an early date, c.1820, and remarkably good condition considering its age. A few of the 24 dinner plates had minor losses to the rim and the large tureen, measuring 13in (35cm) across the handles, was cracked and stapled.

“I estimated the service at £300-500 hoping that it might make £1000,” said auctioneer David Elstob. “But I wasn’t expecting the result. Against an online underbidder, the service sold at £6000 in the room to a bidder buying for an American client.”