This ormolu-mounted fluorspar vase by Matthew Boulton sold in Paris at Drouot Richelieu for €170,000 (£121,430) on March 28.

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The 121/2in (32cm) high vase was one of two Medici shape 'bluejohn stone' pot pourris entered from the same French source into a sale held by Mathias, Le Roux, Morel, Ribeyre on March 28. It is of a known Matthew Boulton design, other examples including a pair in the Royal Collection at Windsor.

Good classic pieces of Matthew Boulton-designed metalware are increasingly hard to find, so it was not surprising that these pieces, which were in original, unrestored condition, generated British trade interest. A London dealer seems a likely candidate for purchase, although the auctioneers would only confirm that the buyer was foreign.

Its companion, a near pair but with slight differences to the design and minus the 53/4in (14.5cm) square sphinx and lapis lazuli-mounted platform, sold to a different buyer for €35,000 (£25,000).

By Anne Crane