KNUTSFORD, Cheshire auctioneers Frank Marshall sold this remarkable pair of Chelsea Blue Triangle period sauceboats c.1745-49 for a house record £41,000 on September 8.
The buyer was London specialist Simon Spero who was underbid by an internet bidder on the-saleroom.com.
Marshall's had found the sauceboats in the kitchen cupboard of a local cottage they had been asked to clear by the family of the elderly owner who was moving into sheltered accommodation.
Measuring 8in (20cm) wide, they were in generally good condition with minor chips, modeling imperfections to the ram and cherub mask bases, fritting and discolouration.
Potential buyers were told that bidding would start at £1000 but that a five-figure sum was expected.
Mr Spero - who is aware of only a very small handful of examples of this silver form including one in the Victoria & Albert Museum - considers these the earliest of all English porcelain sauceboats and extraordinary for their polychrome landscape decoration in the Meissen idiom that is unrecorded in this period.
He told ATG he bought them for stock.
The buyer's premium was 17.5 per cent.