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The elderly owner of the flat told visiting valuer Ian Glennie he would be happy to sell his collectables at a general sale for around £200-300. But when the boxes arrived there was a significant addition – a silver frame with floral festoons and mauve guilloché enamel border stamped with the Fabergé mark, BA for the workmaster and 88 for the pre-Revolutionary date.

The estimate of £1000-1500 was left way behind as a series of telephone
bidders slugged it out up to £13,000. The buyer was believed to be London trade.

Also of note in a sale not short on quality, was a 15in (38cm) brass lantern clock by John London of Bristol, a typical late 17th century form with pierced lion and shield panels. As is usual on such early clocks, elements of the movement were thought to have been adapted but, at £4600 bid by an English dealer, a lot of what survived was clearly original.