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The caddies, in their original fitted walnut case with silver mounts, were originally in the collection of Vice-Admiral Sir Edward Hawke (1705-81). The largest of the three is date marked for 1742, the others for 1744.

Offered by Koopman Rare Art for £195,000, they were snapped up by a collector during the private view held on June 25.

Following the preview day on June 26, the fair opened to the public last Thursday and runs until July 3 in the grounds of the Royal Chelsea Hospital. It hosts 160 dealers.

Sèvres vases

Other early stand-out sales included a pair of Sèvres green ground vases c.1758 that have not been on the market for around 100 years. They were offered by Adrian Sassoon for a high five-figure sum.

Philip Mould, meanwhile, parted with a Nicholas Hilliard portrait miniature (1600-05) of a lady wearing a black dress for a price under £30,000.

In the category of Modern and Contemporary art, one private collector acquired two works from Dickinson for seven-f igure sums: Pablo Picasso’s Le combat de faune et de centaure, a large watercolour and ink dated August 1946, and Serge Poliakoff’s Composition en vert (1954).