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The total is all the more noteworthy given the enforced withdrawal of the star lot – a rare 34-piece Fabergé silver tea and coffee service that had been estimated to contribute £90,000-£120,000 – after one of the pieces was stolen at the viewing.

Five out of the top ten lots were bought by Russian collectors, who are especially active in the middle market. The Fabergé was conservatively estimated and, if it was fresh to the market, in good condition and unusual, it sold well. A Fabergé silver pen cleaner in the shape of a capercaillie, Julius Rappoport, St Petersburg, c.1890, sold to a private collector for £21,000 against an estimate of £4000-6000. It came from a private collection, the silver was nicely chased and the form unusual – no other capercaillie pen cleaners seem to be known, although there is a snipe in the Hermitage collection.

Sotheby’s offered a private collection, put together in the 1950s and ’60s, of Fabergé cane and parasol handles, which mostly sold on or above estimate. A unique jewelled rock crystal, two-colour gold and enamel parasol handle in the shape of an eagle, Michael Perchin, late 19th century, sold to a London dealer for £18,000, £6000 over high estimate.

Another one-off piece was a Fabergé silver-gilt and enamel table matchbox sleeve with a silver mandrill (the work of Julius Rappoport) perched on top. It doubled high estimate at £10,000.
A gold Fabergé presentation cigarette case with the Imperial eagle picked out in diamonds, given by Tsar Nicholas II to the English naval Commander Francis Goodhart in 1916, sold to a Russian collector for £15,000 (est. £8000-12,000).

Russians were also active on lot 199, a colourful collection of Russian orders, medals and badges, mostly 19th century. They sold to a Russian collector for £14,000, more than double low estimate.

The top lot of this sale, however, came from the icon section. A late 15th century Cretan icon of The Crucifixion from the collection of Nicholas Embiricos fetched £26,000, below the low estimate of £30,000.