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All 28 cinnabar lacquer, jade, bamboo and hardwood brushes sold, almost exclusively to Hong Kong, mainland or Taiwanese buyers. The most expensive entry was an elegant 18th century tixi lacquer brush of waisted form that leapfrogged its £500-700 guideline to sell on the telephone for £12,000.

Although the auction market for archaic jades has been flat for some time and the field peppered with sophisticated fakes, the old provenance of this 14 multiple lot-collection’s established provenance gave buyers reassurance. There were no casualties and the top lot was two carved Warring States
(475-221BC) jade knot pickers that fetched £8500.

However, the top lot of the entire sale was a famille rose Tibetan-style ewer with an iron-red Jiaqing mark and of the period (1796-1820) and in good condition. Privately consigned and with an attractively pitched £8000-12000 estimate, it is a shape that does not often appear at auction. It was contested by Hong Kong and Chinese buyers and sold on the telephone for £48,000.

The most unusual entry was a set of four Kangxi blue and white porcelain table legs, each leg 191/2in (50cm) high, with two square apertures for the supports. They were painted with precious objects, flowering rocky gardens and mountainous river landscapes. “Nobody had seen anything like this before,” said Ingrid Collingridge, who thought they must have been a one-off commission.

Consigned by the descendants of an Indian-based nobleman, their novelty value may not have attracted the Chinese-taste porcelain purist, but they brought a winning £20,000 bid from a European telephone buyer.