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This was emphasised by trade bidding on a 2 3/4in (7cm) high Bow blue and white cup, shown here together with the inscription to the base Elizth Mackly 1764. With a moulded flared top, it was decorated with peonies, lotuses and willows, but it had been broken and restuck and had a large chip to the rim.

Such condition issues suggested why the dealer who consigned it for sale had been able to buy it from a Bournemouth dealer recently for just £5.

Two specialist London dealers bidding by phone on behalf of clients thought more highly of the cup – one of them took it at £1700.

“There are fewer than 40 pieces of dated Bow so the cup represented an exciting find for a collector,” said Mr Axford.