The highlight of the sale conducted by Bourne End Auction Rooms (12% buyer’s premium) near Marlow, Buckinghamshire, on March 4 was this pair of tin-glazed earthenware plates, right, made c.1740 by Saverio Grue at the Castelli factory in Naples.

Typically decorated – one measuring 7in (17cm) across with a musician beneath a tree within a cherub border, the other slightly smaller with a man close to classical ruins – they were found in a local property. Save for the edge fritting one expects from maiolica, they were in near-perfect condition and, against an estimate of £500-£700 each, they sold at £1500 per plate to an Italian collector.