A SELECTION of over 560 lots of silver and objects of vertu comprised the first day of Lawrences’ Summer Fine Art auction series on July 3 and enthusiasm throughout the sale was reflected in a host of strong prices.

Eighty-eight pieces of modern (1974-5) silvergilt cutlery in the pretty ‘pierced vine’ pattern made £7,190 while a seal top spoon from Norwich made in c.1610-1630 was gobbled up by bidders who competed to £10,370 to secure it.

A set of four entrée dishes by the celebrated Georgian silversmith Paul Storr dated from 1804 and doubled hopes to make £7,560 and, to furnish another elegant table, two dozen silvergilt wine and champagne goblets made in the mid-1970s raised a cheer at £7,560.

An impressive (59cm high) Victorian cast centrepiece by Edward and John Barnard (1861) was skilfully modelled as a capstan draped with the instruments of war. After an appropriate bidding ‘battle’, it was bought for £5,120

Five very different objects in the section of vertu also sold well. Two portrait miniatures depicting children of the 5th Earl of Carlisle (and consigned by a descendant)  made £2,560; a lacquered papier-mache box depicting a simple rustic scene made £1,950; a rare French silvergilt marriage casket, 7.7cm long, was thought to date from c.1600 and made £1,520; and a fine quality novelty vesta case in the form of a very realistically cast snail (6.8cm) was made by Thomas Johnson in 1884.

The bidding was far from ‘sluggish’ as it exceeded hopes of £1,200-1,500 to race away  - the lucky bidder shelled out £3,290 to buy it.

The sale exceeded £220,000 with very little unsold.