THE Woolley and Wallis salesrooms in Salisbury enjoyed a “remarkable” start to 2019.

More than 700 lots of furniture, clocks, treen and other works of art were on offer at its first sale of the new year.

The sale total was £801,562 (including buyer’s premium), and a sell rate of 86 per cent.

Head of furniture Mark Yuan-Richards was delighted with what ranks as his department’s most successful sale ever.

He said: “Against all trends and expectations, the early January sale has always been a strong one for us, but this was quite remarkable.

“While it is true that some areas of the furniture market are not performing in the way that they were, I think auctions like this one prove that if you can source the right objects and pitch them at the right estimate then people are still very keen to buy.”

There were 165 lots from the collection of Sir Jeremy Lever QC, which put more than £315,000 towards the final total. The collection included one of the sale’s top lots, a pair of Grand Tour white marble caryatid figures that stood nearly a metre high and, and sold to a UK buyer for £22,500. Also featured was a marble specimen low table that had previously graced several of the homes of the late Hollywood actor, Dirk Bogarde. That sold for £17,500.

The top lot of the sale was an Italian scagliola table top by Don Pietro Belloni, dating back to 1754, which sold for £25,000.