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Estimated at £10,000-15,000 for the auction in Lewes, East Sussex on February 9, six parties on the phone and two in the room lined up to contest it, but the original bidder on the phone held out against all competition, seeing off the underbidder, who was also on the phone, at £58,000 (plus premium).

It was originally brought into Gorringes' front counter by a local couple along with a selection of other antiques.

It dated from around 1785 and is painted with a continuous scene of the Hongs or European export factories on the Canton waterfront, showing the French, Austrian, Swedish, British, Dutch and Danish buildings all flying their country's flags.

Measuring 14¼in (36cm) diameter, it had undergone restoration to cover two hairline cracks, but the colours of the enamelled decoration were bright and the scene was, in the view of one potential purchaser, very nicely painted.