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Speculation that the unknown lady of this portrait miniature, right, was Mary Cromwell, third daughter of the Lord Protector, certainly raised the bidding at Mellors & Kirk’s April 10-11 sale (15% buyer's premium), but the signature of John Hoskins (dated 1651) on the reverse was a far greater mediator of value. Following the death of Nicholas Hilliard, Hoskins emerged as the most gifted 17th century limner and Charles I possessed at least nine miniatures by his hand. Measuring 2 3/4in by 2 1/4in (7.3 x 6cm), the miniature had an estimate of £3000-5000, and although there was a slight area of damage, it sped to the London trade at £17,500.

However, given the buoyant market for antique woodworking tools, the auctioneers were disappointed by the response to the English School miniature of John Jacob Holtzapffel (1768-1835), the doyen of ornamental lathe turning. A crack in the ivory ground was offputting, and the miniature sold in the room at £1000.