Sale room numbers dipped as challenging weather conditions drove a number of stalwarts to try online bidding from the comfort of their homes for the first time at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s March sale.

The first day of Spring was heralded by the arrival of the Beast From The East, but this did not deter a number of hardy souls from opting for the chilly charms of The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton.

Indeed one of the valuers trudged for three-quarters of an hour from his village home to ensure he was on hand for the sale.

As auctioneer Derek Biss remarked there was a cracking catalogue on offer and so it proved as a number of fine prices were achieved throughout all sections of the sale.

Paintings enjoyed a particularly good set of prices. Top spot went to a portrait of a saddled bay hunter by John Boultbee.

Despite some restoration work bidding for the painting opened at £800. Sure-footed interest saw this figure climb until a phone bidder paid £3,940 to claim the attractive oil on canvas.

Boultbee was a pupil of Joshua Reynolds and his work was much admired by George III who commissioned a number of equestrian pictures by the artist. The king assigned him a residence at Windsor Park so he could carry out his artistic duties more easily.

A couple of pictures of local interest also drew excellent prices. A portrait of Ralph Oliver Allen, of Stocklinch Manor, Ilminster, circa 1898, which was consigned to the auction by descendants of the sitter, fetched £1,350 from a phone bidder.

The same £1,350 sum was also paid for a portrait of Dr John Allen of The Priory, Bridgwater. Dr Allen published a compendium of diseases in 1719. He had a wider interest in science and in 1716 sent details to the Royal Society of a ship’s log he had invented. A phone bidder bought his portrait.

The jewellery section included a pretty Victorian, gold locket back pendant on collar. This dainty item included a central line of four lapis lazuli beads with trios of split pearls between. It was bought by a phone bidder for £2,700.

Furniture has continued to do well at Greenslade Taylor Hunt and the March sale continued this trend. A room bidder bought a pair of 18th century mahogany side tales for £2,700.

An attractive Dutch walnut and floral marquetry cabinet was another hit and sold for £1,720 to a net buyer. A set of 12 George IV mahogany dining chairs, including a pair of carvers, went for £1,970.

In the ceramics section a pair of patriotic bulldogs drapped in the Union Jack flag sold for £490, while a William IV silver three piece tea service went for £1,045 and a nine carat gold cigarette case made £985.

A single owner collection of Lladro realised a combined total of £4,650.