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The four models comprising the 17in x 23in (43 x 59cm) glass-cased piazza, estimated at £200-300, were more of a genuine surprise.

“There was some damage and although the glass case was original it was broken and alabaster is generally the least sort of material for these models,” said auctioneer Nigel Kirk.

“I was hoping for perhaps £1000.”

In the event the model went to a Continental bidder on thesaleroom.com at £4500.

Royal gift

The cane, traditionally believed to have been presented to one of the clan MacLaren by George IV on his 1822 visit to Edinburgh in 1822, sold at £5500 against an estimate of £500-700.