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Although the vase was given a modest $3000-5000 estimate, it was no ordinary piece of cloisonné, signed as it was by the great Meiji period cloisonné craftsman Namikawa Yasuyuki.

Of ovoid form, it was exquisitely decorated in various coloured enamels and silver wire with a pair of birds perched on a flowering branch on a black ground, 71/2in (19cm) high. Consigned by a private Maryland collector, it was contested by a number of interested parties to $28,050 (£20,035).

The creamy white jade Mughal brushwasher, shaped in half gourd form with a ram’s head handle and privately consigned at $16,000-18,000, failed to generate the interest anticipated and was knocked down at a more modest $11,730 (£8380).