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He felt the 17in (43cm) high bird, which was incised R Wallace Martin & Brothers, London and Southall 5-1894 to the head and R W Martin & Brothers, London and Southall 4-1894 to the body, was particularly well modelled and

Beak, as the consigner's family had known him, generated keen interest from the US and from British trade and private collectors but, in the end, was the subject of a straight two-way battle between a British private collector bidding on the phone and the successful purchaser, an overseas collector in the room, who paid £40,000 (plus premium) to secure it.