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Measuring 2¾in (7cm) wide, the unmarked 3oz box featured the Rape of the Sabine Women to the top, Apollo and Daphne to the underside and masks and scrolling leaves to the sides.

By family repute, backed by a mention in a 19th century will, it was given to General Harry Burrard by George III.

Though a gallant Guards officer, the general did not enjoy a career distinguished by victory – he served during the American War of Independence and in the Flanders campaign of 1793-95, while his inaction at an important point in the Portugal campaign in 1808 led to a court of inquiry at which he was absolved of blame.

He played a very minor role in the Copenhagen expedition of 1807 but on his return was created 1st Baronet of Lymington. In 1810 he assumed command of the Brigade of Guards and remained in London until his death in 1813.

Entered by his descendants, the box was offered with a print of Sir Harry and estimated at £2000-3000. Against competition from the London trade, it sold to a Hampshire dealer, possibly for his own collection, at £5500.