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Jean Cocteau Grand Chèvre – cou sold for £30,000 at Bonhams.

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At 46 pieces, it was the largest collection of his ceramics to be offered at auction.

Like Picasso, Cocteau came to ceramics late in his career: he produced his first pieces in 1957 after meeting Marie Madeleine Jolly and Philippe Madeline in their studio in Villefranche-sur-Mer. However, from then until his death in 1963, he created more than 300 pieces, most of them produced in small editions.

Pictured here is the partially glazed 23in (58cm) high earthenware vase Grand Chèvre – cou conceived in 1958.

At the time Cocteau wrote: “We stayed up working until 2am on the chèvre-pied that I was finding a little too simple, its stylisation a bit suspect, but because of my stubbornness with every single detail, this long-neck character is now as noble in style as Chinese and African works.”

Signed, dated and with the edition number 20/20 to the base, it doubled the low estimate at £30,000 (plus premium), setting a record for Cocteau ceramics.