Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

In the event just three lots failed to sell and the auction netted a premium inclusive £2.7m. The biggest contribution came from this 4ft 7in (1.4m) high Egyptian sandstone figure of King Mentuhotep III, dated to c.2010-1998 B.C. which led the sale at a treble-estimate £720,000.

Acquired by David Sylvester from Sotheby’s December 1970 sale of works from the Hagop Kervorkian Foundation, it was one of six figures excavated at Armant in 1936-7 by the Egypt Exploration Society. Last week it was battled out by a telephone bidder and by independent consultant Martine Newby acting for a client, with the hammer falling to the telephone bidder.