The buyer (paying £51,700 with the addition of the 17.5% buyer's premium) was the West Midlands period furniture dealer Thomas Coulborn & Sons, who faced fierce competition from six phone bidders in the UK, Italy and US and numerous internet bidders.
The production of models using cork from oaks in southern Europe was a flourishing craft that developed in Rome and Naples in response to demand from 18th century travellers. The 2ft 2in x 12in x 10in (66 x 30 x 25cm) model in a glass case is of a type often attributed to the workshop of the Naples model maker Dominic Padiglione.
He created the 'Gallery of Models of ancient monuments' at the Real Museo (among them the Temple of Zeus c.1805) and led the Cork Model Workshop at the Museo Borbonico in Naples for more than 20 years. Precision cork models were also hugely popular with the public in London and the Model Room of the Sir John Soane's Museum includes a collection of similar examples.
The Hampstead model, estimated at £5000-£8000 for the auction on September 22, came with a good family provenance - a vendor whose great-great grandfather had been a tailor to the royal family in Naples.
A very similar model was sold by Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet in March last year for £25,000. It was purchased by the same buyers who sold it at the Masterpiece fair in 2014.