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It is among a small number of Ming style bronzes that carry a four-character mark Shiji Guzhi mark.

This rare inscription meaning ‘The family Shi had the censor commissioned in the archaic style’ references one of eight prominent families of Tianjin, whose ancestral home is today an important historical site.

Estimated at £4000-6000 at the sale on November 6, it sold to a buyer in Hong Kong for £105,000.

Wanli cloisonné


A cloisonné bowl with a six-character Wanli mark that sold for £62,000 at Sworders.

The sale enjoyed a number of ‘flyers’. Estimated at £2500-3000 but sold at £62,000 was a 10½in (26cm) cloisonné bowl enamelled to the exterior with five clawed dragons among clouds and to the interior with a bouquet of lotus flowers and seed pods.

It had a six-character Wanli (1563-1620) mark to the base, with the price suggesting it may be of the period.