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Pictured right, valuer Keeley Connor holds one of the prize items, a rare Limehouse pickle dish. Dated c.1746-48, it is painted with a Chinese figure by a pine tree surrounded by Daoist symbols and a rococo shell motif flanked by two leaves, and, at 5in (13cm) across, it is the largest and among the rarest of the Limehouse scallop shells.

A similar example made £7500 during Part II of the Bernard Watney collection at Phillips on May 10, and, although this example lacked that provenance and had a small rim chip it was eagerly competed past its £1000-2000 estimate. It secured the day's top bid of £4200, selling on the phone to a London dealer against six other phone bids and interest from the room.

Equally rare, thought some bidders, was a Lowestoft teapot c.1768-73 with Oriental blue flower decoration. It had an unrestored crack to 80 per cent of the circumference of the base but went on to realise £420. Best of the early Worcester was a teapot and cover c.1765, decorated to the part-reeded, globular form with enamelled flowers and moths and applied with a floral knop. It sold at £440.