A Japanese gold lacquered four case inro – a special container designed to carry anything small – proved a major attraction at Greenslade Taylor Hunt’s April antiques sale.

Thought to date from the Meiji period, decorated in relief with ivory, mother of pearl and red lacquer inlay, it had attracted much pre-sale interest at The Octagon Salerooms, East Reach, Taunton. A room bidder secured the lot with a bid of £1,300.

It was one of a number of pleasing prices achieved at the monthly sale, which also attracted many first-time visitors to the saleroom.

A distinctive late 18th Century or early 19th Century mahogany cabinet maker’s timber specimen chest was one of the more unusual pieces that went under the hammer.

This singular sampler featured specimens dating back to 1770-80 and included “rattan mahogany” from the West Indies and “canoe wood” from Tahiti.

It attracted tremendous interest both prior to the sale and at the auction. A phone bid from Rome won the day with a call of £1,200.

The same sum was achieved for a Commonwealth period silver wine taster with a maker’s mark and dated London, 1657.