A "once in a lifetime" collection of pottery which was destined for a charity shop has sold for £13,000 at an auction in Hertfordshire.

The 10 pieces by British studio potter Bernard Leach went under the hammer at Hanson Ross auction house in Royston.

The vases and pots were collected by one family over the past 50 years, and were languishing at the back of a cupboard before arriving at the saleroom covered in dust and in a cardboard box.

Hanson Ross director of operations Amanda Ross said: "There was a huge amount of interest in this lot as it’s rare to see so many of Leach’s pieces in one auction.

"The owner’s intention was to gift them to a charity shop or sell them at a car boot sale, but they thought they’d just check with us before letting them go. It’s a good job they did!

"This is life changing money for the owner and I’m so glad that they have gone to new homes where they can be displayed."

One unsigned piece was bought by a collector in the United States for £2,000, while a vase by Leach's partner Shoja Hamada fetched £1,700.

Additional Shoja Hamada pieces will be auctioned on July 12.