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They were found on a local rubbish tip and entered into the April 27 sale held by Sherborne auctioneers Charterhouse Auctions (15% buyer’s premium) by the waste management company in charge of the tip.

Attracting huge interest mainly from the specialist trade, the panels were in ‘perfect’ condition and depicting Pre-Raphaelesque images of long-haired maidens, they had been put in a wooden three-fold frame by the previous owners.

After fierce bidding both in the room and on four telephone lines the hammer fell in favour of a London specialist dealer bidding in the room for £7000.