These carved boxwood nutcrackers sold for £6400 at Bishop & Miller on October 21.

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The 5in (13cm) long lever-action nutcrackers were carved as a jester with a beast’s mouth, a form similar to that made in Germany and France from as early as the 16th century. These were catalogued as 18th century and were possibly German.

A UK dealer on the phone and a Continental collector online quickly took bidding beyond the modest £150-180 estimate and the nutcrackers finally went across the Channel at £6400.