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Priced £35 with dealer Robert Pugh is the catalogue from the 1962 sale of the contents of Stackpole Court in Pembrokeshire, pictured above.

Lot 556, under the heading of ‘statuary’, is briefly described as ‘A white marble bust of a lady with oak leafage bandeau and another of a lady wearing a diadem, 21in high’.

In July this year at Sotheby’s, the ‘lady wearing a diadem’, newly identified as Bust of Peace, also pictured above(ATG No 2345), by the Italian neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova (1757-1821) from his Teste Ideale series, sold for £5m.

Carved by the sculptor in 1814 as a gift for his first British patron, John Campbell, Lord Cawdor, the marble head remained at Stackpole Court, the family home for five generations after Campbell’s death in 1821.

By the time of the 1962 auction the sculpture’s significance had been forgotten. However, extensive years of research by the bust’s owner before Sotheby’s sale revealed the sculptor’s importance and the worth of the ‘lady wearing a diadem’.

Last of the year

For those people who are so well organised that they do their Christmas shopping months ahead of the festivities, this fleamarket at the United Counties Showground may well be the place to search out a special gift.

This is the last of the Towy fleamarkets to be held this year and the 100- plus standholders will be selling a wide range of pieces, including Welsh art and ceramics.

towyevents.co.uk