England descended to defeat by an innings and 46 runs in the fifth Investec Test to narrow the margin of their 2015 Ashes series success to 3-2.
The hosts lost their last four wickets for 83 runs either side of a two-hour rain break on day four at The Oval, and were bowled out for 286.
They knew of course, irrespective of their performance in this epilogue Test, that they would be holding the urn up to a packed crowd at the conclusion.
But there was a hollower ring to celebrations for Alastair Cook's team, after Moeen Ali was last out to Peter Siddle to confirm them significantly second-best here.
Siddle (four for 35) made the first breakthrough of an increasingly overcast day, under floodlights in his second over with the second new ball.
He beat Mark Wood's forward prod and overturned an initial not-out lbw decision on DRS.
Jos Buttler had worked hard the previous evening, alongside Cook, to regain form in the attempted rearguard.
But he gave it all away disappointingly eight short of his 50, to the 107th ball he faced, when he chipped Mitch Marsh on the up to a tumbling mid-off.
In the match context, it was a strange mode of dismissal.
Moeen and Stuart Broad then batted for ten overs together - long enough for the forecast rain to arrive and delay the inevitable.
But Broad lasted only five more minutes, on the resumption, bowled off-stump after missing a drive at the admirable Siddle.
The last act of an oddly uneven series then came when Moeen wafted an edge behind off the same bowler.