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The cranes, found covered in guano in the grounds of a Borders country house, were undated but had some genuine age to them.

Both birds – the tallest stood 6ft 11in (2.10m) high – had some damage but against a £1000-2000 estimate took a private bid of £7100.

On balance, the cranes were probably from Japan, from which came about 40 pieces of ivory to this sale – Meiji, okimono and figurine – consigned from various sources over the past three months.

Auctioneer Gavin Tavendale concurred with a view expressed previously in ATG that vendors may be taking a last chance to sell ivory but pointed out “collectors may also be taking a last chance to buy”. Certainly almost all the ivories got away, generally at around the two-figure and low three-figure estimates.

Best by a distance was a fine Meiji figure of a farmer. Standing 15¾in (40cm) high and signed to the base, it brought £3000 against a £500-800 estimate.