A superb collection of boxes, which had been handed down the generations, attracted international interest at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s July sale.

A couple of bleary-eyed New Yorkers were among the bidders as the sun came up in the States. They were joined by three other phone lines at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton, as they all vied for ownership of an early 19th Century French varicolour gold and enamel rectangular table snuff box depicting a stag hunt in a mountain landscape by makers Cassiez & Couleaux.

Bidding opened briskly at £5,500 and swiftly soared to a lofty £12,500, but despite it being American Independence Day the State side would-be owners left empty handed as a UK phone bidder emerged victorious and bought the box for  £15,500.

It was a bittersweet moment for the vendor, who had been left the collection by her mum, who in her turn had inherited it from her mother.

“It’s the end of an era, but I’m delighted the collection is going to good homes,” she said.

Her grandfather had travelled the world and built up the collection for his wife on his many foreign jaunts.

The vendor had recently re-located to Somerset and specialist valuers from the saleroom had undertaken a house call to view her treasured collection.

Also among the collection was a George IV silver table snuff box, this had Indian Mutiny interest, and was later presented as a freedom box for the city of Hamilton, Scotland. A phone bidder paid £3,700.

A net bidder bought an early 19th Century French gold oval box. This beautifully decorated item featured bloomed-gold flowers, leaves and a fruiting vine on a matt ground with similar rose and green bloomed-gold leaf scrolls. It was bought for £2,850.

The painting section included a number of notable prices catering for very differing tastes, including a mixed media on canvas by Guyanese artist Aubrey Williams. Entitled “Pampas” it was signed and dated and was bought for £2,950.

A more traditional bucolic offering came in the shape of “Window Shopping” by William Teulon Blandford Fletcher. This signed oil on canvas went to a net bidder for £2,470.

Continuing GTH’s ability to sniff out unusual offerings a partially dismantled BMW R80 motorcycle circa 1985, which had been languishing in a garage sold for £680.

The next sale takes place on Thursday, August 1, and will feature a significant West Country Art section.

For more information or to consign items please contact the saleroom on 01823 332525.