Wedgwood majolica mid 19th century matchbox modelled as a fly.

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He had never seen its like before and gave it a modest guideline of £150-200, although he said later that he thought it might fetch around £2000.

Buyers thought better of the 5in (12cm) long box, which bore a three-letter date stamp and was in rather more muted, and realistic, colours than one associates with majolica. Despite some minor damage to the inside rim, the novelty item was the lot which added an appropriate buzz to an otherwise fairly routine outing. Healthy bids on the book were beaten by telephone bids before the fly went to a majolica dealer in the room at £4000.

Also contributing to the 1507-lot sale's £100,000 total was a pair of 1784 Irish provincial tablespoons by Limerick silversmith Thomas Burke. In good condition, they attracted considerable interest from Irish dealers, selling to one of them at £1250.