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Made in Britannia standard silver, the 4in (10cm) diameter salts with cut card and stiff leaf decoration weighed a substantial 34oz. They carried marks for London, 1728 and the all-important 'fleur du lys' maker's mark for de Lamerie.

Auctioneer Charles Hanson, who had found the previously unrecorded set in a home in Litchfield (they had been in the Wyndham family for perhaps two centuries) fielded bids from trade and private buyers before they sold to a collector/consultant.

The sale on March 10 included a new house record for Hansons when a Daoguang mark and period (1821-1850) famille rose vase with a turquoise ground found in a house in South Derbyshire sold for £192,000, a multiple of the pre-sale estimate.

The buyer's premium was 15 per cent.