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This mid-19th century porcelain figure with impressed marks for the factory established by Francis Gardner near Moscow in 1766 sold for €3200 (£3100) at Irish auction house Fonsie Mealy.

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Gardner is best known for its series of idealised ‘old Russian’ characters: typically peasants, vendors and tradesmen who lived in the empire.

However, this 8½in (22cm) figure on its rococo base is from a series of more unusual and more risqué subjects made in the 1840s-50s. Skinner of Boston sold a group of them in 2006 for prices between $5000-10,000.

The ballet dancer came for sale at Fonsie Mealy (22% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Castlecomer, Kilkenny, Ireland, on July 23. Pitched at €80-150, it attracted interest from buyers in Russia and the UK. It sold to a bidder using thesaleroom.com at €3200 (£3100).