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It was, perhaps, the most interesting object to be offered in Madrid last month. Of rounded form, the body is incised all over with foliate scrollwork creating a very decorative effect. What made this piece exceptional, however, was its function: together with the jug were three silver balls inscribed with the names of various Spanish cities. These were placed inside the jug, then drawn out by a six-year-old boy in a voting system to decide which city would host the meetings of the Council of Livestock breeders. All somewhat obscure, but a fascinating and very rare example of secular Spanish silver of this date.
It was acquired by the Spanish State for Pta15.5m (£59,615).

As usual with this saleroom (a branch of the Caja Madrid bank), there was some other interesting material, but also some attributed works that carried high estimates. This seems to have been the case with the 113/4 x 181/2in (30 x 47cm) oil on panel of a garland of flowers attributed to Jan Davidsz. de Heem (apparently with the written confirmation of leading expert Sam Segal), which failed to sell at Pta35m (£134,615). There was, however, a strong price for a very decorative 3ft 31/4 x 3ft 3in (1m x 99cm) oil on canvas by the Catalan painter Herman Anglada Camarasa (who recently performed well at Sotheby’s London sale of Spanish art held last October). A characteristic and colourful canvas of A Trellice in Mallorca with Still Life in the Foreground sold above estimate for Pta33m (£126,925).