There were 891 lots on offer at the last country sporting sale in Cockermouth. By the end of the day only 79 of them were left.

The other 812 items were all snapped up at the sale by auctioneers Mitchells – and sporting guns proved the most popular among them.

The highest seller was a Beretta 687 12-bore shotgun, which sold for £2,100. A WW Greener 32 bore hammer shotgun with a single steel barrel also did very well, selling for £1,300 – well above the price expected.

The same price was fetched by a large and unusual Norfolk lyre game counter by G & J W Hawksley, made from nickel and brass.

The nickel side has dials for counting pheasants and hares, and on the brass side are dials for partridge and rabbits.

The sale also included a large collection of collectors’ knives from manufacturers such as Randall, Puma and Spyderco, all in excellent condition.

The highest selling knife was a Randall fixed blade knife with a 7.5in blade, a brown leather sheath and sharpening stone.

It had been given an estimate of £200 to £300 but eventually went for £500.

The collectors’ section included an extremely rare Hardy Anglers’ Guide from 1917, which sold for £380, and a large selection of Wilk cartoons.

The most notable among them was a watercolour cartoon depicting Albert Benson and the Windermere Harriers, signed by the artist and dated 1988.

It sold for £380 against an estimate of £100 to £150.

A Loweswater Show poster from 1938 with the president named as Mrs Heelis – better known as Beatrix Potter – had been expected to go for £30 to £50 but surprised bidders by reaching £400.

The fishing section contained a good selection of Hardy rods, reels and tackle.

The highest selling reel was the Hardy Perfect trout fly reel, which came with its Hardy cardboard box, and made £420 against an estimate of £100 to £150.

The highest selling rod was a Hardy “The CC de France” trout fly rod, which was bought for £400.

An illustrated catalogue with all the prices realised in the sale can be viewed online at

Mitchells hold country sporting auctions twice a year, in the spring and the autumn.

The next is to take place on Saturday, October 5, with a closing date for entries of Friday, September 13.

Anyone wishing to have items valued for potential sale should contact auctioneer James Moore on 01900 827800.