“A good auction with some great prices and a real buzz, “ is how valuer Simon Rayner summed up the first antiques sale of 2022 at the Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton.

Pick of the prices was a work by Damien Hirst - the “enfant terrible” of the Young British Artist movement, who rose to prominence in the 1990s.

A limited edition coloured etching, 'Ciclopirox Olamine' (2004) signed in pencil, from a limited edition of 145 had a pre-sale estimate of  £5,000-£8,000.

It had originally been bought from a Somerset gallery and has enjoyed a protected life encased in cardboard.

It drew interest from commission bidders, phone lines and the internet, with the internet squeezing out the competition with a call of £8,500.

Another pleasing result came in the shape of a large 19th Century artist’s lay figure. It stood at 100cm tall and was in good condition apart from the loss of part of a little finger and the nibbling to toes by the vendor’s dog.

This canine intervention proved no barrier in the auction room, where the hammer came down at £7,000 – imagine what might have been if the dog hadn’t sunk his gnashers into the model!

The 20th Century section of the sale saw a number of quality items and prices. A commission bidder secured a limited edition signed screenprint entitled “Swimming” by Howard Hodgkin, (1932-2017) for £2,600.

In the jewellery and watch section there were plenty of highlights. Chief among these was a Victorian rose cut diamond and blue enamel serpent, cross and heart brooch, which fetched £2,400.

Once again the twin appeal of a quality timepiece and a renowned maker ensured good prices – a gent’s Omega Seamaster stainless steel Chronometer wristwatch sold for £1,600.

An emerald and old cut diamond 18ct gold ring sold for £1,550, while some wonderful Ladderax made £1,200.

The next antiques sale takes place on Thursday, February 3. For more information and to consign items please contact the salerooms on 01823 332525.