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Entitled Horse and Rider, this preparatory study for Leonardo’s unfinished masterpiece The Adoration of the Magi (now in the Uffizi) is one of the artist’s earliest mature works and a primary expression of his interest in horses.

Hailed by Christie’s as the most important drawing by the Renaissance master to have appeared at auction since the 1930s, the 43/4in by 3in (12 x 7.8cm) work was contested by two telephone bidders to a hammer price of £7.4m (plus 17.5/10 per cent buyers premium and VAT).