China, furniture and a champion Cumberland Wrestling belt were among the lots to reach surprising prices at the last antiques auction in Cockermouth.

But it was the range of paintings – many of Cumbrian scenes – which did best.

The sale, by auctioneers Mitchells, featured an oil on canvas painting by Maryport artist William Mitchell titled The Old Garvine Bank and Bridge, Maryport as it was in the year 1839. It was signed by the author and dated 1895, and sold for £6,200 – topping the lots in the sale.

Other notable works were a snow-covered view of Skiddaw by Edward H Thompson, which went for £1,400, and oil painting Harvest Moon by June Bennett, which made £1,100.

The market for Chinese artefacts is notoriously difficult to predict. And many of the Chinese items far overshot their estimates.

The biggest surprise was the hand-painted porcelain plate which had been expected to sell for £30 to 50. In the end it went for £4,500.

Other Chinese surprises were a pair of porcelain hat stands valued at £100 to £150 which made £1,000,

A large 19th century walnut and continental silver mounted mazer which had been valued at £500 to £800 sold for £4,400 and a malachite book form box containing mineral specimens was expected to sell for £80 to £120 but made £1,050.

The most valuable item of furniture turned out to be a narrow Queen Anne style bureau bookcase, which sold for £5,000.

Other valuable pieces included an 18th century Dutch marquetry display cabinet which made £3,200, a George III mahogany longcase clock from around 1800, made by Joseph Craig of Maryport, which sold for £1,900, and an 18th century Dutch marquetry longcase clock, which made £1,800.

There was an usual set of five items with a local dimension – all relating to the heavyweight Cumberland Wrestling champion Hexham Clarke of Broughton, who vied with George Steadman and eventually took over from him as the man to beat.

The most valuable items were a silver two-handled trophy and a champions belt, which both sold for £620. The whole collection made a total of £1,830.

Mitchells’ annual book sale, which formed part of the auction, included a very rare first edition Beano annual dating from 1939, which sold for £3,500.

A catalogue with all the hammer prices can be viewed online at