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This 13 1/4in (34cm) high version, with a cream coloured cover and turquoise interior, had some minor repair to the finial and other chips. At Halls (15% buyer's premium) of Shrewsbury on May 26 it sold at £5600 (estimate £2000-3000).

Pictured below right is another whimsical George Jones model (this design registered in 1871), a cobalt blue desk set with inkwells modelled as nesting mistle thrushes. It was consigned to the sale conducted by Patrick Cheyne (12% buyer's premium) at St Peter's Assembly Rooms in Altrincham on the strength of a sardine dish earlier this year.

Given the tendency of majolica to chip and crack, its immaculate condition seemed almost too good to be true - and indeed an eleventh hour inspection revealed extensive, if good, restoration. Telephone calls were made to warn potential purchasers but four bidders were undeterred and contested the rarity to £4000.

A third piece of George Jones majolica, a more commonly encountered strawberry dish modelled as a bird between two nests, 11in (27cm) across, was offered by Hove auctioneers Scarborough Perry Fine Arts (15% buyer's premium) on May 13-14. The bird and both ladles were broken and restuck and there are elements missing. It sold at £800.