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The 7 1/4in (18.5cm) piece, with a cherub finial and a body supported by female figures on dolphins, presented auctioneer Ben Lloyd with an estimating problem. It had quite a lot of damage which can seriously depress prices and Mr Lloyd decided on a tempting £300-500 estimate.

The winning £1300 bid from the London trade was rather puzzling, thought Mr Lloyd. “It was a speculative bid and the buyer may have either paid too much or got a very good buy,” he said.