Chinese export charger – estimated at £700-900 at Sworders.

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The vessel, with a cargo then worth £200,000 (perhaps £5m today), was saved from being wrecked thanks to Martin’s seamanship off Canton in 1716.

The East India Company awarded him a diamond-set gold medal and a purse of £1000 that he duly spent on an extensive armorial dinner service in the Imari taste. The plates carry an estimate of £700-900 at Sworders of Stansted Mountfitchet on May 17.

Other elements from the service, including four plates, a bowl, a spoon tray and a tea caddy, are offered as the following lot with hopes of £500-800.