Victorian standish made from La Lutine timber, £2500 at Lay’s.

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When the 5th-rate ship of 38 guns was wrecked on a bank near Vlieland, Holland, in 1799 she had a vast fortune in gold and silver aboard. The majority of the cargo was never recovered from the shifting sands and Lloyds’s of London paid out in full.

She became something of an emblem for the insurance market. A representation of La Lutine was incorporated into the Lloyd’s crest and the ship’s bell brought to the London headquarters and struck when news of an overdue ship arrived.

During one of several salvage missions conducted for the underwriters, in 1859 La Lutine’s oak rudder was recovered. The majority of the timber was used to make a boardroom desk and a chair plus a series of trinkets – such as this 13in (33cm) diameter Victorian standish carved with dolphin supporters, the arms for the City of London and the inscription La Lutine 1799.

It was offered by Lay’s (18% buyer’s premium) in Penzance. Estimated at £150-200 on February 16, it took £2500.

A number of these are known. One offered by Charles Miller in 2008 with a silver plaque stating it had been made from the ship’s rudder sold at £2200 and it was a similar sum of money required to purchase the slightly larger example sold in Cornwall.