The vendor was the daughter of Douglas Shepherd, a designer and architect who worked for the brewery Ind Coope and collected silver by Omar Ramsden, Robert Ashbee and Archibald Knox in the 1950s, '60s and '70s.
Most highly rated among 87 lots on February 12 was this Cymric silver, enamel and blister pearl biscuit box by Liberty & Co, after a design by Archibald Knox.
Weighing a total of 28oz and standing 7½in (19.5cm) high, it was marked for Birmingham 1900 and further engraved to the base with the date 1903.
Speculation that it was the only known example outside that in the Victoria & Albert Museum attracted eight telephone bidders and an opening bid of £7000, well above the pre-sale estimate of £4000-5000.
A battle between London dealer Jan Van Den Bosch and a UK private collector on the telephone saw it sell to the latter at £26,000 (plus 17.5% buyer's premium).