A set of cutlery with 12 knives, forks and spoons, housed in the original leather travelling case, caught the eye of numerous international bidders.
Such sets were popular at European royal courts from the c.1720s. The Augsburg silver added to the prestige of the Meissen pieces and vice-versa.
This particular set can be dated to 1724-28. The silver gilt spoons, the forks and the cuffs of the steel-bladed knives were the work of the silversmith Gottfried Jakob Mayr, one of several Augsburg masters who provided metalwork for the manufactory in Meissen. Related pieces from his workshop belong to the Hermitage in St Petersburg.
The back of the spoon handles in the set now sold were decorated with reliefs of Chinamen standing or sitting under a canopy. The Asian connection recurred on the Meissen handles which were decorated with chinoiserie motifs.
All of this contributed to the determination of the successful bidder, a Chinese collector who reached €57,000 (£49,565), some way over the guide of €45,000, before he could shake off his online competitors.
The sale took place on October 8.