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Topping the 158 lots was a 16½in (42cm) wide whale pan bone (lower jaw) scrimshaw depicting HMS Bark Endeavour entering a Continental harbour. Estimated at £1600-1800, it sold to an English collector at £3700.

Also going to an English collector at the January 25 sale was a 15in long (39cm) Victorian whale bone stay busk, stained and decorated with a whaling scene.

It was initialled ES and included the evocative verse: When this you see remember me, And bear me in your mind, Let all the world say what they will, Speak of me as you find, In many a gale has been this Whale, Wherin this bone did rest, But now at last it comes to pass, To support a Females breast.

Estimated at £200-300, it sold at £2300.

Monocular microscope

Best of the instruments was a brass compound monocular microscope. Stamped Powell & Lealand Makers London

1843, it was in its mahogany box, also labelled for the Euston Square opticians, and came with various accessories. Against a £1000-1500 estimate, it made £3400.

Also more than doubling the estimate, a pair of Second World War Kriegsmarine T Carl Zeiss Jena binoculars sold at £1650.