BETTER a diamond with a flaw than a pebble without as Confucius once said. The Chinese thinker could have been describing events at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton, where an 18ct white gold three stone diamond ring led the field.

The only “flaw” for the diamond was that it was nudged off the top spot towards the end of the sale when a vast early 19th Century mahogany, breakfront library bookcase commanded the day’s highest price. A phone bidder paid £6,200 for the enormous piece, which featured a castellated frieze above four bays of adjustable shelves.

Jewellery and Oriental items dominated at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s May antiques auction, which featured more than 700 lots.

The three stone diamond ring consigned by a longstanding client from Bridgwater was the sparkling star at a lofty £5,200, but there were plenty of substantial prices achieved across the sale at the Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton.

Somerset County Gazette: Dazzling display of items at antiques sale

Other jewellery prices of note included £1,600 from a room bidder for an Indian gold cuff bangle. A smart opal and diamond triple cluster bar brooch, circa 1900, attracted interest online, on the phone and in the room. It fetched £1,050.

An early Victorian tortoiseshell, gold and stone set butterfly brooch went for £800.

Somerset County Gazette: BEAUTIFUL BROOCH: A smart opal and diamond triple cluster bar brooch, circa 1900 fetched £1,050

A Victorian Mintons majolica teapot set the internet abuzz. Decorated with Chinoiserie scenes this tiny piece – at just 14cms high – sold for an impressive £3,300.

The Oriental section was another runaway success. A Chinese cinnabar lacquer vase went for £2,150 to an internet buyer while a Chinese cinnabar lacquer charger went for £1,500.

The picture section encompassed everything from wildlife studies to Postman Pat. Notable prices included £800 for an 19th Century oil painting of an elderly lady and children in a cottage interior.

Top entry in this section was an atmospheric, oil on canvas of Durham Cathedral in the style of John Glover. A delighted phone bidder claimed this at £1,720.

Somerset County Gazette: Dazzling display of items at antiques sale

A George III oak cased 8-day longcase clock was strongly contested by a number of phone lines and internet interest. One of the phones struck the decisive bid with a call of £925.

An eclectic book section saw some stellar prices. A first edition of Ian Fleming’s tale of James Bond’s antics in Live and Let Die made £1,100. A charming first edition of A.A. Milne’s Now We Are Six with illustrations by Ernest Shepard

sold for £500. This was also the sum achieved for an ex-library copy of the scarier first edition of Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

The auctioneers are now accepting entries for their next monthly sale on Thursday, June 7. Please contact the saleroom on 01823 332525 for more information.