Figure designed by Sandro Vacchetti titled Abissina.

Enjoy unlimited access: just £1 for 12 weeks

Subscribe now

Included in the auctioneers' April 27 sale of Art Nouveau and Deco as part of a 32-lot, Lenci-dominated collecton of Deco ceramics, it sold to a telephone buyer against competition from the room and other phones for £32,000 reckoned to be a new auction high for the factory. The figure, dated 1930, is titled Abissina and its decorative elements are not only stylishly exotic but are thought to reflect Italy's colonial designs on this African country.