A 17th century ebony and pietra dura table casket – £60,000 at Claydon Auctioneers.

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Measuring 15½in (39cm) wide, it came for sale from a local source with an estimate of £3000-5000.

Although catalogued as a 19th century Grand Tour piece, it was quickly recognised by bidders as a 17th century object with the pictorial panels displaying the sort of lapidary work often associated with courtly Prague.

This particular style was pioneered by Florentine father and son gem cutters Cosimo and Giovanni Castrucci who accepted an invitation from Holy Roman Emperor Rudolf II to establish a workshop creating so-called commesso di pietre dure works of art in Prague. Although the atelier closed in 1624, the Castrucci style was emulated by subsequent generations of Bohemian artists.

The casket, which required some careful restoration, sold at the August 4 sale to a European buyer at £60,000 (plus 19.5% buyer’s premium).