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It has an apocryphal 15th century (Chenghua) mark but was of considerable age – probably made in the Kangxi period.

The cup came by descent from a private English collection in Bath and was probably acquired in the 19th or early 20th century. Pitched at £18,000-22,000, it took £80,000.

The sale included an apparent sleeper when an ink and colour landscape scroll painting jumped past its £300-500 guide to hammer at £170,000. As well as a series of four seals and seven different inscriptions, it featured the name of the late Ming, early Qing artist Shi Tao (1642-1707).