Circle of Monnot alabaster plaque – £9500 at Mallams Cheltenham.

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It was from the circle of Pierre-Étienne Monnot (1657-1733), a native of the Franche-Comté who made his reputation after settling in Rome, 1687.

Ford apparently bought the 17th or 18th century alabaster housed in a later 21 x 17in (53 x 44cm) gilt plaster frame while in Italy in 1839-40 and his family connections brought it to Long Court at Randwick.

The relief was among 190 lots from Long Court offered at the 396-lot, September 17 sale, which enjoyed a 94% success rate. Pitched at £3000- 5000, it sold to a UK buyer at £9500.


Three pieces of maiolica – £3600 at Mallams Cheltenham.

Another Italian surprise from the country house was a lot comprising three pieces of maiolica; an 11½in (29.5cm) diameter dish depicting St Mark at a table with the painted mark DMC, a circular plate decorated with a court scene and an oval plaque of the Virgin Mary.

The dish and plate had suffered considerable damage. However, bidding fixed on the relatively unscathed plaque reckoned to be 17th century and the trio went to an overseas online buyer at £3600 (estimate £80-120).