A RARE silver box found in a drawer during a house clearance in Taunton has sold for thousands.

The silver vinaigrette, measuring just 4.6cm long and weighing an ounce, was discovered by Simon Jones, an auctioneer at Lawrences, who realised its value.

The box is known as a Castle Top and depicts a view in York of Clifford's Tower and Court House.

It was made by celebrated silversmith Nathaniel Mills and it carries his maker’s mark as well as a hallmark for Birmingham 1842.

“We were called to a house in Taunton to assess various items for the family and I found this box in a drawer with various other pieces of silver and jewellery," he explained.

"It was such a rare item and it attracted a huge amount of interest from collectors.

"Mills was the most celebrated of all the 19th Century silversmiths working in this format so it was a delight for the client – and a nice surprise for me, too.”

Eager bidding from keen collectors saw the box race past its estimate, eventually selling for £4,400 (plus commission).

Lawrences carry out free weekly valuation mornings at the Castle Hotel in Taunton every Friday, followed by free home visits on appointments.

If you would like more information on buying or selling, email simon.jones@lawrences.co.uk.