A Chinese talisman signifying power and good fortune brought the curtain down on a sensational year of sales for auctioneers Greenslade Taylor Hunt.

The Chinese ruyi sceptre, with eight jade type carvings mounted on a naturalistically modelled branch, was the subject of fervoured bidding with no fewer than four phone lines and spirited internet interest all aiming for ownership.

The hammer came down at £6,500 for this decorative piece, with the internet winning the day. Ruyi are constructed from diverse materials. The Palace Museum in Beijing has nearly 3,000 – made of precious metals, wood and crystal. The ruyi image frequently appears in Asian art.

Bidders from around the world and around the corner all emerged happy from the December antiques sale at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton.

Unsurprisingly with Christmas fast approaching the jewellery section was extremely well supported with a number of excellent prices and no doubt some delighted recipients as a result on Christmas morning.

A dazzling platinum and European cut diamond ring was the undoubted star of this section. It had been consigned from a Taunton deceased estate. It comfortably exceeded its guide price, with the hammer falling at £2,900 after fierce bidding to a buyer in the room.

Prices of note included £1,400 for a calibre cut ruby, emerald, sapphire and round cut diamond bangle, while a pair of 14K calibre emerald eternity rings made £800. A vintage emerald and diamond ring sold for £700.

Delighted jewellery valuer Helen Preece said: “Our sale in the New Year bodes well with an exotic flavour of the Middle East following a large consignment of eclectic jewellery from the Arabian peninsula and middle East. We also have a large and varied selection of watches.”

Prices were excellent across the sale – a panelled oak livery cupboard sold after a tussle to an internet bidder for £1,600.

However, a room bidder scooped a bit of a bargain. A reproduction oak partners desk, which had been made for the vendor at a cost of £7,000 back in the ‘90s sold for £750.

The next sale takes place on Thursday, January 12, and will feature a section of 20th century design. For more information and to consign items please call 01823 332525.