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One of a pair of pale blue c.1790-1800 Chinese export vases with graviata floral decoration sold for £13,000 at Hannam’s.

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The 10¼in (26cm) tall pale blue porcelain vases with graviata floral decoration, were lifted by superb quality ormolu mounts to base and neck and, in particular, the twin handles formed as entwined serpents.

Such additions by French craftsmen were not uncommon at the time, either to conceal damage to porcelain suffered in transport, or simply to enhance their appeal to wealthy nobles.

Pitched at £1500-2000 on April 11-13, the pair drew wide interest before finally selling to a bidder described by the auctioneers as ‘a successful European powerhouse’ at £13,000.