A group of extremely rare medieval bowls sold for more than £75,000 at the Cotswold Auction Company Christmas sale.

The medieval hand washing bowls, also known as gemellions, were sold individually to two different phone bidders for a total cost of £75,500, not including buyer's premium.

The Christmas auction took place at the Cheltenham saleroom earlier this week, during what is the 25th anniversary year of the Cotsworld Auction Company.

Among top items sold this year were an Elizabethan bible cover, which sold for £120,000 and a painting by equestrian artist Sir Alfred Munnings.

However, the Christmas sale was an auction to remember.

Dating back to the first half of the 13th century (circa 1200-1250), the four Limoges gilt, copper and polychrome champleve enamel gemellions were major highlights of the auction.

During the Middle Ages, gemellions were predominantly used for hand washing by both priests at church altars and by affluent households during meal times.

Among other notable auction items was a pair of Chinese cloisonné enamel candlestick stands, from the Qianlong emperor's reign during the years of 1735 - 1796.

Each of these relics featured a discrete four-character seal mark embossed at their bases.

This pair was auctioned off at a sum of £11,000, excluding the buyer's premium.

Lindsey Braune, the Director of the Cotswold Auction Company, said: "What a wonderful end to a memorable year."

Ms Braune reflected on her partnership with co-director Liz Poole, whom she has worked with since 1986 at Chambers and Hobbs.

They started their own venture with the Cotsworld Auction Company in 1998, that has so far spanned nearly three decades.

Ms Braune said: “There have been many highlights over the years. Among those that stick in the memory are a Faberge mini sedan chair which sold for £380,000 in 2019, and a collection of works on paper related to the Irish author Maria Edgeworth, which sold for £149,000 in 2020.

"This year’s top seller was an Elizabethan bible cover, which sold for an incredible £120,000.

“We would like to thank all our customers for their unstinting support this year and throughout our 25-year history."