You have 2 more free articles remaining

Known as the Mocenigo Cornaro garniture, it takes its name from the accollée arms of the Mocenigo family of Venice painted to one side of the body. Recent research into these armorials on a travelling service sold by Christie's in 2002 has revealed that the garniture was part of an elaborate series of gifts by Augustus III of Saxony to Alvise Giovanni Mocenigo and his wife prior to the Elector's visit to Naples and Italy.

The largest of the three vases, which stands just under 16in (40cm) high, is painted to one side with a naval battle and to the other with figures walking by a waterside pavilion.

The smaller pair, which are 11 3/4in (30cm) high, feature various landscapes with huntsmen. They are thought to be the work of either J.G. Heinzte or Gottleib Hauer and all feature elaborate borders of gilding, diaperwork and shells and scrolling.

The large vase and one of the smaller had damaged covers while the third had a 20th century replacement.

The garniture was delivered to the Mocenigo family in 1740 and comprised five vases. One surfaced at Christie's in 1967 and the whereabouts of the other is unknown.

This trio came from Arniston House Midlothian, offered for sale by Mrs Althea Dundas Bekker, although it is not known when they left Venice or entered the Dundas family.

Christie's offered the largest vase as a single lot with a £20,000-30,0000 estimate, with the two smaller as a pair estimated at £15,000-20,000. Both comfortably exceeded these guidelines, the single coming in at £80,000 to a overseas collector and the pair at £30,000 to a private UK buyer.