STAFF at a Borders auction house enjoyed a much-deserved cup of tea after a surprising sale recently.

Lot 299 – a vintage floral paragon cup and saucer and matching teapot set in ‘saffron’ pattern – was expected to sell for between £40 and £65 at Peebles Auction House.

But after an intense online bidding war, auctioneer Garry Rennie was surprised to finally bring down the hammer on a winning bid of £720.

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He told the Peeblesshire News: “I knew there would be a lot of interest as we were asked for 25 ‘condition reports’ ahead of the sale and we ended up with six bidders.

“It was an unusual teapot in very good condition and quite rare, but the final price took us all by surprise.

“Two interested parties kept bidding and the price kept rising until the final bid of £720 was accepted.”

Peebles Auction House is located in The Old School, Old Church Road in the heart of Peebles.

It holds fortnightly general and specialist antique, art, militaria, jewellery, furniture and collectables auctions.

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The company has appeared on BBC’s Antiques Road Show and their online sales are viewed by collectors from across the world.

Mr Rennie is particularly excited about a forthcoming sale on August 14.

He said: “The items are from a house clearance, and I met the seller near Lauder and immediately thought ‘oh my goodness’ when I saw what was available.

“There will be Georgian silver, gold and some wonderful jewellery.

“Everything will be available to view online on our website, but I anticipate a huge sale that day.”

Garry runs the business with wife Lynsey and they are also looking to employ a school leaver to add to their staff of 10.