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A cavalry guidon, from the 18th century, is painted rather than embroidered. Its rarity meant it fetched an over-estimate £4200 at Dix Noonan & Webb

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Flags are fragile by their very nature but such painted versions have a “much lower survival rate”, according to Dixon Pickup, militaria consultant at London saleroom Dix Noonan & Webb (20% buyer’s premium).

Also, he added: “Guidons were not consecrated like infantry colours and so were less likely to be placed in churches once their military use was over. They also often changed when the commanding officer of a regiment changed.”

In the July 19 auction DNW offered a guidon from 4th Yeovil Troop, the East Somerset Yeomanry Cavalry, 1794, estimated at £2000-3000. It sold for £4200.