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Over 25 years he amassed an impressive collection which came under the hammer at Schuler (20/18.6/16.6% buyer’s premium) in Zurich on March 23.

Private buyers in the room, on the phones and online were preparing for the picnic season and saw to it that numerous prices went way above the estimates, with 80% of the lots in the collection finding new owners.

A great number of the picnic sets were of English origin and had a variety of ingenious details. A wickerwork basket from c.1910 contained not only a flask, glasses, plates, cutlery, a teapot and a spirit stove, but also folding legs and a table top, allowing the owners to dine al fresco in style. It changed hands for a top-estimate SFr5000 (£3650).

Even more sought after, however, was a Louis Vuitton 2ft (61cm) wide book trunk or malle-bibliothèque from c.1920, with space for books and file, drawers for writing implements and a compartment for a typewriter. It was bid to SFr19,000 (£13,870), more than six times the lower estimate.

A higher price was still to come: for a 3ft 8in (1.13m) high, 1930s Louis Vuitton shoe trunk with 30 compartments and two further drawers for socks. It caught the eye of numerous bidders who pushed the price from SFr8000 to SFr28,000 (£20,440).