Pair of Doucai porcelain cups – £9500 at The Auction Hub.

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They were offered at The Auction Hub (22.5% buyer’s premium) on February 4.

The vendor – Lady Peel, widow of the queen’s former surgeon-gynaecologist Sir John Peel – had been ready to throw them out before auctioneer James Harvey recognised them as products of the Imperial kilns.

A similar pair had tripled hopes at Sotheby’s dispersal of the Meiyintang collection in Hong Kong in April 2013 when it sold at HK$4.5m (then about £507,000).

That pair, of course, were in near-perfect condition.

The 2in (48cm) tall cups that featured at The Auction Hub were each broken on three or four pieces and rather poorly reglued. One had hairline cracks and a patch of fairly crude repainting, the other had a section missing from the rim.

Nevertheless, the delicate painting and underglaze blue six-figure mark to the underside were testament to the original quality of the cups – probably ceremonial wine vessels – and the pair more than doubled top hopes, selling to a UK private buyer at £9500.

Harvey set up The Auction Hub, an online operation in Westbury, Wiltshire, 14 months ago.