The incised pen box from the Transitional period which took £5600 from a specialist dealer at Windibank’s sale.

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In addition to the seven London-based Chinese works of art dealers in the room, five telephone bidders, including two from Hong Kong, contested the 20, market-fresh Chinese lots in P.F. Windibank's (10% buyer's premium) April 24 948-lot Surrey outing.

They had been consigned by the granddaughter of the enthusiast who had acquired most of his Oriental works in the late 19th and early part of the 20th century.

Headlining the dispersal was an unusual Chinese scholar's oblong pen box and cover with an all-over, powder-blue glaze which had pooled into exterior incisions of a three-clawed dragon writhing among the clouds. The cover of the 9in (23cm) long container had been partially restored.

Although the piece was widely accepted to be earlier than 18th century as catalogued, auctioneer Simon Windibank said trade opinion was split as to whether it was an early 17th or late 16th century example.

Even if it had been 18th century, the £100-150 estimate would have been overtaken and, in the event, the box took a £5600 bid from a Kensington Church Street dealer in the room.

The same dealer also bid £1150 to secure, from the same collection, an 18th century Chinese ivory carving of Guanyin, holding a child in one hand and a rosary in the other.

A different London buyer secured a slender cylindrical 17th century Transitional blue and white brushpot painted with a scene of a scholar, a farmer and his ox in an outdoor setting.

The manner of painting and the V-shaped grass strokes were typical of the period and this vessel, in good condition, realised a healthy £2950 on the telephone.

Other notable Chinese entries from the collection, which totalled £25,000, included an 18th century famille verte beaker and a 17th century blue and white kraak bowl.

The beaker, in good condition and with flaring rim, was brightly enamelled with a seated Chinese scholar and fetched £2550. The bowl, with panelled decoration to its interior and exterior, sold at £1500.