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The ink stand, right, to be offered at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet on February 3 dates from around 1815 and illustrates Bullock’s flair for dramatic stylised design with its finely worked and engraved brass inlay and mother of pearl inset into a red tortoishell ground. A similar rectangular inkstand with an ebonised rather than a tortoiseshell ground was sold by Christie’s as part of contents of Great Tew Park, Oxfordshire, in May 1997 – the sale generally credited for putting Bullock on the map. It made £7700, selling to the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool.

However several versions of this circular type, measuring 151/2/in (39.5cm) diameter are known includng that sold by Sotheby’s in November 2001 for £23,500.

Sworders’ example has some damage (some lifting brass and missing tortoiseshell and carries an estimate of £8000-12,000.