A 19th century carved Siena marble inkstand, £5000 at Duke’s.

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A typical Grand Tour souvenir popular at the time, it measures 9in (23cm) wide x 6in (15cm) high, has three wells featuring covers carved as face masks and is set on paw feet on a black marble stand.

A piece with plenty of decorative appeal, it was not short of admirers in Duke’s (25% buyer’s premium) Summer Interiors auction on July 13 where it was bid to £5000, a multiple of the £200-300 estimate.

The inkstand was part of a single-owner consignment of items from the estate of the late John Rollo Somerset-Paddon of Chalk Newton House, Maiden Newton in Dorset, then by descent.

He was born in Norfolk in 1920 but moved to Rhodesia and travelled primarily on foot to the north African desert to fight at the outbreak of the Second World War. Captured by the Italians, he spent four years as a prisoner-of-war working in the salt mines of Italy and Germany.

On his return to Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) he continued to work in mines until 1962 when he returned to England and farmed in various locations until he moved to Chalk Newton House in 1988.