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The Order of Alexander Nevsky, Civil Division, First Class set of insignia, comprising sash badge and breast star, made £40,000 on September 26.

The order was launched during the Second World War as a purely military honour by the Soviets but is now given to civil servants for more then 20 years of meritorious service.

It may also be awarded to prominent foreign politicians, business people or other public figures who have helped Russia. An Imperial Order of St Alexander Nevsky was established by Empress Catherine I in 1725.

An Order of St Alexander Nevsky, civil division, Albert Keibel, St Petersburg, 1899-1908, was sold for £16,800 (estimate £4000-5000) at Sotheby's in May 2005.

The buyer´s premium was 20/15%.