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A similar sum was bid for an Edwardian sapphire and diamond brooch at Mallams Oxford (20% buyer’s premium) on March 29.

The cushion-shaped mixed-cut sapphire (probably from one of the mines in India, Sri Lanka and Burma that were operating during the late 19th and early 20th centuries) is set within a double border of graduated old-cut diamonds.

An inherited piece estimated at £5000-7000, it underlined the strong market for sapphires when it sold to a London buyer at £23,000.