18th Century Chinese fanLawrences in Crewkerne kicked off a busy week of auctions on 13 January with nearly 800 lots of silver and vertu. The sale was viewed by dealers and private buyers and keen international interest from the internet and telephone bidders ensured that most lots found buyers.

The day’s top prices were paid for items that had interest beyond our shores: a Turkish hanging lamp made £1520; a Maltese sugar bowl and cover, c.1780, made £1700 and another similar (c.1805) made £2190 and an 18th Century Chinese fan took £2190.

Silver vinaigretteTwo exquisite vinaigrettes made by master silversmith Nathaniel Mills of Birmingham, 1840-1844, met predictable interest: one cast in high relief with an image of St Paul’s cathedral took £3290 whilst another, showing York Minster, was bid to £5000. Neither exceeded 2” (5cm) in length. It has been said that vanity finds only one true admirer but an Art Nouveau dressing table set disproved that when it attracted a host of determined bidders. Made by Liberty and Co, 1903 and decorated in the popular `Cymric` design, the selection of eight brushes, mirrors, pots and trays appealed sufficiently to take £4880.

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