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Decorated with Japanese carp and thought be one of only a handful of pairs produced by the firm, they fetched a hammer price of £19,000 from a private English collector after being spotted by the auctioneer, Clifford Lansberry, when he was called in by the vendors to do a valuation on some paintings.

The previous hammer record for Moorcroft was £12,500, made at Christie’s South Kensington last year. CSK also took £5000 for a single carp vase, estimated at £700-900, in October 1996. At Gorringes last week, the pair had been estimated at £2000-3000.