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At 12in (30cm) high with full painted and impressed marks, both are rarities but more remarkable was the story of the consignment: they had been brought in to the Salvation Army charity shop on Tenison Road, Cambridge, in Tesco carrier bags.

The anonymous donor, who was clearing the house of a relative, told staff members she was aware they were of some value but was keen for them to be sold to benefit the charity.

After some online research and advice from a local dealer the vases were taken to Cheffins for a full appraisal.

Shop manager Charmaine Wilson, who told ATG this was the most valuable offering the charity had received in her nine-year tenure, attended an auction for the first time to watch the vases sell on May 9.

One, in a more typical matt glaze with pastel tones, sold for £4000. The following lot, in a more desirable flambé glaze took £5000 against the same estimate £1500-2500. Both, in good condition save a small glaze chip to the footrim of the latter, sold to the same buyer.

The charity shop has put a note of thanks in the window should the generous donor pass by again.