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The work, part of the Vischer-Passavant Collection in Basel till 1962 and consigned by a Hessen collector, was inspired by a 1559 drawing by Pieter Brueghel the Elder which is now in the Boymans van Beunigen Museum in Rotterdam.

Brueghel the Elder portrayed the central figure of Charity as a young woman with a pelican on her head; Brueghel the Younger transformed her into an old woman in colourful rags, leaning on a staff.

The other sale highlight was a 1520s triptych by the Master of the Antwerp Adoration, 2ft 3in (69cm) high, with a central panel 21in (53cm) wide showing the Holy Family with two angel musicians, and side panels 9in (23cm) across. This was consigned by a Rhineland collector and sold on estimate for €125,000 (£83,300).

A School of Rembrandt Gelehrter mit Buch (Scholar with Book), 19 x 15in (49 x 37cm), dated 1632, went unsold against an estimate of €150,000.

The sale’s leading objet d’art was an elegant pair of early 18th century silver candlesticks by Berlin’s Johann Georg Fournier II, 2ft (60cm) high, that brought a triple-estimate €8500 (£5665).