Meissen bronze-mounted spice box commissioned by Count Brühl, estimate at least €4000 at Metz.

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He was reputed to have owned the largest collection of ceramics in the world. Most famous among his purchases was the 2200-piece Schwanenservice (Swan Service) which was modelled by Johann Joachim Kändler, Johann Friedrich Eberlein and Johann Gottlieb Ehder.

The latter two were also responsible for other less spectacular pieces which were commissioned by Count Brühl, among them this bronze-mounted spice box in the form of a sailing boat with a man at the helm.

The sides of the 8in (21cm) high boat with a lion as figurehead and a brass sail are painted with insects. The first mention of the model, of which several variations are known, in the Meissen archives dates from 1739. Later entries name Count Brühl as one of the purchasers.

This example, offered by Metz in Heidelberg on October 14, is expected to bring at least €4000.