Included among the toys was this intriguing diorama of early 20th century figures by the renowned Dresden maker Georg Heyde & Co. The soldiers, shikaris, elephants, crocodiles and snakes were apparently assembled by an expat family in India as a gift to their English nanny who had kept her charges safe by trapping a deadly snake in a display cupboard.
Entered by a descendant of the cool and collected lady, the lead figures had originally been catalogued as English before the Dresden maker – whose factory was obliterated in 1945 along with much of the city – was identified. Individual figures from this characterful series can bring four-figure sums.
Against a £200-250 estimate, the 19½in (50cm) wide diorama sold to an overseas bidder on the phone at £2500.