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Fitted with silver-topped bottles, hair brushes, razors, button hook, tweezers, shoehorn, mother-of-pearl gentleman's manicure set, etc., it has the initials S.M. for Sebastian Melmoth, the name - combining that of the martyred saint and the hero of Maturin's 1820 tale, Melmoth the Wanderer - that Wilde adopted for his exile, appear on the case and a card bearing the name remains in the maroon leatherette visiting card case, that together with a matching writing case, were also present.

Purchased by the vendor's great-uncle in France after WWI, it sold at $15,000 (£8150) in a Bonhams & Butterfields of San Francisco sale of June 28. Delighted with the gift, Wilde wrote to Turner: "The population came at dawn to look at my dressing case. I showed it to them, piece of silver by piece of silver. Some of the old men wept for joy. Robbie [Ross] detected me at Dieppe in the market place of the sellers of perfumes, spending all my money on orris-root and the tears of the narcissus and the dust of red roses. I see now that this lovely dressing case with its silver vials thirsty for distilled odours will gradually lead me to the perfection of poverty. But it seemed to me to be too cruel not to fill with rose-petals the little caskets shaped so cunningly in the form of the rose".