Late 16th century embossed steel shield – €36,000 (£33,030) at Czerny.

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Two virtuoso displays of metalwork techniques commanded the top prices for European lots: one a late 16th century shield, the other a high-quality fluted armour, made in the 19th century but in the early 16th century Maximilian style.

The shield was a circular convex disc of steel, 22in (57cm) in diameter, embossed and chiselled with a scene after Michelangelo of Zeus seated on an eagle in the clouds throwing down thunderbolts at the cowering Titans below.

The front of the shield had been expertly cleaned to a bright finish but the reverse was lined with red material and retained its original patina. With a provenance traced back to the Baron Peuker sale in Brussels in 1854, this sold for €36,000 (£33,030).

Skilled craftsmen


19th century German armour in Maximillian style – €40,000 (£36,700) at Czerny.

The armour was all of a piece, created for a collector by highly skilled German craftsmen in the 1840s.

Almost all the main plates of the suit were corrugated with the long flutes which characterise the original and were carefully fitted to replicate the practical requirements of the real thing.

However, the most eye-catching feature was the visor which was fashioned as a grotesque mask with an exaggerated hooked nose, rectangular eye holes and a mouth perforated to simulate a row of fearsome pointed teeth. This reached €40,000 (£36,700).