Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Measuring just 3in (7.5cm) across, it is inscribed Thos Anderson Born Sept 13th 1790 within a blue scroll border and is painted to the reverse with an Oriental landscape. This was one of three birth tablets - bought for the Anderson children by a fisherman based in Hull - that first turned up on the BBC's Antiques Roadshow in Hull in 1988. The trio subsequently appeared at Phillips in London in December 1996 where this example sold for £4600.

It is an indication of how prices for the best Lowestoft have changed that it carried an estimate of £8000-10,000 last month and was sold to a local collector at £14,000 (plus 10 per cent buyer's premium).

Mr Sprake - who has been conducting these single-factory sales for 22 years - believes it represents a record price for the form, beating the £7000 paid for another example at Christie's two years ago.