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This was underlined at Hansons’ (20% buyer’s premium) sale of pieces from the collection of the late Julian Bird in Teddington, south-west London, on February 11. All 228 lots got away, totalling £50,000.

Top-selling single item, at £1600, was a wooden shabti which sold on thesaleroom.com. The funerary figure was carved as a worker to accompany Rameses I (1292-1189BC) to the afterlife. Inscribed and unusually tall at 11in (28cm), the figure had a black tripartite wig and carried two hoes and a pair of small bags suspended by cords.

Top bid of the auction, also via thesaleroom.com, was the triple-estimate £3700 for a large collection of Egyptian bead and faience necklaces and amulets from the Amarna period (c.1348-1320BC) including a fine collar necklace.