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This particular German pig sticker, measuring just over 3ft 3in (99cm) long, dated from the 1520s and was given a tub thumping reception by connoisseurs of the history of the sport.

Wild boar were hunted to extinction in Britain during the 17th century, since when sportsmen in this country have been forced into softer pursuits.

Small birds and foxes rarely fight back. However, the retaliatory powers of the wild boar are legendary. Failure to kill the animal with the first lunge will drive it berserk, and you had better hope that there is a climbable tree nearby, as this is the only sure refuge from a possible goring from the animal’s razor-sharp tusks.

In order to avoid sharing the fate of Adonis, and other high profile boar victims, medieval swordsmiths developed an ingenious device to keep the animal at arms length.

Crosspiece guards were fitted as standard to the blade, usually at a safe distance from the bearer.

However, this boar sword was one of only two known examples fitted with an adjustable guard which could be moved closer to or further away from the hilt, depending on the size of the boar and the bravery of the huntsman. The other sword with this sliding mechanism is preserved in the Schweizerisches Museum, Schloss Landschut, near Utzendorf, Switzerland.

This example sold to a Continental collector at £11,000 (plus premium).