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The pair of Chinese figures on ormolu bases that led Sotheby’s Style sale when they sold for $80,000 (£65,040).

This online sale, which closed on April 22, also majored on classic English furniture and silver, and featured several individual collections as well as pieces from various vendors.

The top lot of the day proved to be somewhat unexpected. A pair of 13½in (34cm) high Chinese glazed earthernware figures of Oriental men set on restrained ormolu platform mounts had come from one of the larger consignments: a 24-lot group of pieces from a private Connecticut property.

The figures were dated to the 19th century with the ormolu described as “Louis XVI style”. They had an estimate of $4000-6000 but ended up selling for a multiple of that at $80,000 (£65,040).

Commenting on the price after the sale, the auction house said that the figures themselves and the gilding appeared to be 19th century in date, though could be earlier, adding that the market appeared to think so, based on the result.

Meissen mix

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A late-19th century Meissen Schneeballen ewer – $40,000 (£32,520) at Sotheby's.

Among the Continental ceramics was a selection of later Meissen porcelain – a mix of avian figure groups and vases.

The most expensive proved to be a Schneeballen ewer. This was a late 19th century version of this particular category of Meissen ware characterised by multiple applications of small mayblossom flowerballs and first recorded in the factory c.1740.

At 2ft 1in (64cm) high, it was a large example and was also applied with models of birds including a golden oriole and a cockatoo. It sold for $40,000 (£32,520) against a guide of $40,000-60,000.

Fourteen lots of modern Royal Copenhagen Flora Danica porcelain tablewares, part of a 63- lot consignment from the estate of the interior decorator and garden designer Andrew Hartnagle, all proved sought after, selling for sums that were often well in excess of their estimates.

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A pair of Chelsea Hans Sloane decorated plates – $15,000 (£12,195) at Sotheby's.

Early Chelsea porcelain painted with accurately rendered botanical specimens known as ‘Hans Sloane’ decoration continues to find many fans with English porcelain enthusiasts.

Sotheby’s sale offered an 8½in (22cm) diameter pair from c.1755 with dark purple anchor marks and brown edged rims. One of them was painted with a pomegranate branch, the other with blue flowers and a branch of what is probably figs. They sold for an upper-estimate $15,000 (£12,195).

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A pair of 19th century Derby vases decorated in Egyptian taste – $5000 (£4065) at Sotheby's.

The English porcelain also included a pair of 13in (33cm) high, yellow ground Derby covered vases dated to the early 19th century with gilt-heightened decoration of Egyptian motifs.

As well as referencing the fascination with archaeological discoveries of that period, the vases were very decorative pieces with snake handles set on marbled square bases. Marked with crossed batons and D marks in iron-red, these realised a within-estimate $5000 (£4065).

£1 = $1.23