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Neither was signed but both pieces were deemed autographed works by premier Japanese workshops.

A 7in (18cm) high double gourd form vase offered by Reeman Dansie of Colchester on February 12 carried many of the aspects of a piece made c.1890 by Namikawa Yasuyuki (1845-1927) of Kyoto.

It was decorated with moths and butterflies against a mirror black enamel ground and detailed foliate borders. It had a bruise to the upper section but took £28,000 (plus 20% buyer’s premium) against hopes of just £70-100.

At Gerrards of Lytham St Annes on February 7 a bid of £22,000 (plus 18% buyer’s premium) was required to secure a 9in (23cm) high ovoid vase decorated with birds of paradise and chrysanthemums on black ground.

It is in the manner of Hayashi Kodenji (1831-1915) of Nagoya. Despite some minor damage to the neck of the vase, a UK private collector bid way beyond a £200-300 estimate.