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Modelled as a Calcutta home and made in Vizagapatam, the 6in (15cm) wide box, containing a sandalwood fitted tray, had suffered minor damage and the lid had become detached.

However, “this did not deter bidders in the rooms or on the net”, said auctioneer Ian Brasher, who had found it in an airing cupboard. Always a desirable type, the box sold well over hopes at £4800.