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Consigned to Mellors & Kirk’s October 4 sale, this fine 11/2in (4.5cm) wide example of a late 17th century amatory spice box, featuring a very choked-off looking Cupid, a serpent and an inscription envie me suit, attracted £1300 – a considerable return on the original outlay.

The other interesting story of the silver section at Nottingham concerned a pair of 6in (15cm) high Dutch candlesticks, with inverted baluster knopped stems on octagonal feet, and struck with the maker’s mark IP in an elipse.
Auctioneer Nigel Kirk consulted authorities on Dutch silver and discovered that IP referred to an 18th century Harlem maker, but that this mark was also found on late 19th century copies. Deferring to trade opinion, Mr Kirk catalogued the candlesticks with no date and an estimate of £100-150. Evidently more than one dealer believed the pair to be the real 18th century thing as they were pursued to £4100.