THIS exceptional Napoleonic French prisoner of war model proved the highlight of the latest sale conducted by Clevedon Salerooms, near Bristol.
Measuring 7in (18cm) high, the bone and straw-work automaton
which included nine figures and an elaborate network of finely
carved and pierced cogs, was brought in on a valuation day in a box
by a gentleman who had kept it in the loft for 30 years in a
cardboard box labelled 'do not crush'.
Multiple bidders responded to its complexity, subject matter and
its remarkable condition: it retained much of its original colour
and the straw-work platforms were perfectly preserved.
Estimated at £1500-2500 on November 25, it sold for £19,000
(plus 19 per cent buyer's premium) to a private collector.