The Chantilly piece was a 9in (23cm) high seated figure of the Chinese god of longevity, Shou Lao, who is depicted seated on a rock which has a pierced ormolu cover to form a pot pourri.
Marked under the left hand, dating from c. 1735-40 and executed in soft paste porcelain, the god’s tunic was decorated in the style of Japanese Kakiemon porcelain that was favoured for many pieces by the French factory at this period.
The figure had a provenance to the collection of Count Robert de Lesterps de Beauvais (1863-1938), then by descent indicated by two handwritten labels. A similar example but with the head left unglazed in biscuit is in the Musée des Arts Decoratifs in Paris.
The Daguerre version was offered with an estimate of €20,000-40,000 att he auction on March 11 but was pursued to no less than €260,000 (£218,485), a price that, says the saleroom, represents an auction record for Chantilly porcelain.
One of the pre-empted lots was an early 18th century painting: a portrait thought to depict Mademoiselle de Beaujolais by the French artist Jean-Marc Nattier (1685-1766).
It shows a young woman in a red dress seated on a terrace playing a guitar with a putto at her side holding a book of music, the fleur de lys on a cushion indicating her noble birth.
The 3ft 8in x 4ft 10in (1.13 x 1.45m) oil on canvas is a replica of another work of the exact same dimensions signed and dated 1731 which is in a private collection, while a third version of this composition belonged to Karl Lagerfeld and was sold by Christie’s New York in 2000.
Throughout the 20th century all three versions have been thought to represent Louise-Anne de Bourbon Condé (Madamemoiselle de Charolais (1695-1758), third daughter of the Duc de Bourbon but in 1999 in the catalogue of a Nattier exhibition held at Versailles, Xavier Salmon put forward a new identity for the sitter as Philippine-Elisabeth d’Orléans (1714-1734), Mademoiselle de Beaujolais.
Philippine-Elisabeth was the daughter of the Duc d’Orléans and was engaged to Don Carlos, son of Philippe V of Spain, but the break-up of the marriage of Louis XV and the infanta of Spain ended the engagement and Philippine returned to France where she died of smallpox at the age of just 19.
The painting was pre-empted by the Château de Versailles at the hammer price of €150,000 (£126,050).
The town of Le Havre also exercised a right of pre-emption to secure at €20,000 (£16,805) a signed gouache from 1787 of the harbour at Le Havre by Alexandre Jean Noel (1752-1834).
The view offers an interesting testimony of the site prior to the bombardment of 1944. The tower in the background, built on the order of François I, was dismantled in 1861 to enlarge the harbour entrance and only a few buildings dating from before 1945 exist today.
Notable among the antique furniture was a 4ft 1in (1.24m) wide Louis XVI cylinder bureau in mahogany with gilt bronze mounts stamped by the celebrated ébéniste David Roentgen (1743-1807).
The bureau was recorded in the posthumous 1824 inventory of Pierre Charles Bonnefoy du Plan who was Marie Antoinette’s garde meuble (furniture keeper) and concierge at the Petit Trianon. It outpaced a €25,000-30,000 estimate to take €116,000 (£97,480).
£1 = €1.19