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Ivory and tortoiseshell Portuguese-Indian box – £17,500 at Dawson’s.

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The 9¾in (24cm) wide box, with a serpent head handle and a hinged side door concealing two drawers, was offered by Dawson’s (20% buyer’s premium) in Maidenhead on May 26.

It was in generally good condition but areas of loss and cracks to the veneers and damage kept the estimate down to £700-900.

The box sold for £17,500 to a Portuguese bidder which, along with more research, pretty well settled the question of origin.