Large 19th century Meissen plaque with an allegory of summer – €16,000 (£13,790) at Metz.

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It was painted with a semi-naked maiden wearing a crown of camomile and cornflowers and surrounded by grapes, melons, peaches and a pineapple. Like all the other lots in the auction, the 17 x 12in (43 x 31cm) panel, which was mounted in large gilt wooden frame, was offered without reserve.

Furious bidding ensued, which closed only when a Japanese dealer sealed the deal in Heidelberg at €28,000 (£24,135).

A corresponding plaque of identical size, painted with the Sistine Madonna after Raphael, was also in demand. It changed hands for €16,000 (£13,790).

The sale took place on June 18-19.