It was consigned by a local elderly couple looking to downsize - clients referred to High Road by an international auction house.
Clearly signed to the base with Barbedienne's foundry mark, it was almost certainly designed by Edouard Lièvre, the talented industrial designer who excelled in these fanciful interpretations of Far Eastern design. Similar models featured on Barbedienne's stand at the 1878 Paris Exposition Universelle, while its near pair survives in the Phoenix Art Museum.
High Road's evening sale on December 10 kept British and international buyers waiting until 11pm to compete for a lot estimated at a conservative £2000-3000 to reflect some condition issues. It took a full 15 minutes of bidding before it sold to a London dealer at £95,000.
The buyer's premium was 20%.