The seven intricately decorated tiles by Henry Stacy Marks RA (13 September 1829 – 9 January 1898) depicted Shakespeare’s Seven Ages Of Man.
Valuer Simon Rayner, who oversaw the decorative arts and 20th Century sale, said: “This is one of the nicest lots I have had the privilege of selling.
“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see a set come up for auction.”
Two phone lines disputed ownership of the well-preserved tiles, which had come from a local source, and appropriately went under the hammer exactly 122 years after the artist’s death.
Bidding began at £7,500 and swiftly soared to £14,000 – the standout sum in a day of notable prices at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton.
Other highlights included £1,100 achieved for a Danish rosewood “Modus” dining room suite by Kristian Solmer-Vedl for Soren Wiladsen.
A Danish rosewood, tambour front sideboard by HP Hansen Mobelindustri, complete with a 1982 receipt from upmarket furniture store Heal’s sold for £650.
Another rosewood dining room suite also caught the eye. The dining table and set of six chairs, including a couple of carvers, by Rosengren Hansen for Brande Mobelindustri went for £600.
An extensive, complete 12 setting canteen of “Pride” pattern silver plated cutlery by David Mellor for Walker & Hall was another saleroom hit. The cutlery held in a teak and afromosia two-tier trolley sold for £500.
The iconic ‘Pride’ cutlery was designed in 1953 while Mellor was still a student at the Royal College of Art and has been in continuous production ever since.
Included in the very first Design Centre Awards in 1957 it is on display in numerous collections around the world as a prime example of 20th Century modernist design and is an acknowledged modern classic.
A colourful collection of 12 1960s ceramic tiles from the H & R Johnson “Cristal” range decorated with stylised fish saw determined bidding. They sold to a room bidder for £260.
The next decorative art and 20th Century design sale will take place on Thursday, July 2. To consign items please contact the saleroom on 01823 332525.