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Elephant form koro, c.1700, £24,000 at Woolley & Wallis.

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Measuring a massive 15in (38cm) across, the large pachyderm is modelled standing four-square, its trunk curled to the right and a gentle expression on its face. A cover with a double row of apertures for the smoke to escape allows it to function as a censer.

Once possibly covered in a cold-painted decoration, the base is inscribed with lines of calligraphy possibly the names of the worshippers at a temple who commissioned the piece for local community use. Similar inscriptions appear to the Kakiemon model of a lion dog offered to the Sonobe Shinto shrine in 1692.

This elephant, from a private collection in Suffolk, shared the same thick, bluish glaze and deep firing faults with a 2ft 4in (70cm) model of a seated deer sold by the auction house in June 2000 from the collection of Lord and Lady Broughton, 3rd Baron Fairhaven of Anglesey, in Cambridge. It had made £11,500.

The W&W elephant, with its obvious condition issues, was guided at £1000-2000 for the auction on November 22, but did much better, selling at £24,000.