English delftware ointment pot, c.1775, £1300 at Woolley & Wallis.

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It was probably a reference to Jacob Hemet, the third generation of a family of Huguenot dental practitioners. He was made Operator for the Teeth to Queen Charlotte in 1766 – an appointment that was subsequently extended to other members of the royal family.

Like many other practising dentists of the time, Hemet concocted his own mouthwashes and dentifrices but was unusual in taking the trouble to patent them, advertising Hemet’s Essence of Pearl or Pearl Dentifrice in a range of London and provincial newspapers. He even travelled to America in 1772 to promote his wares.

Appealing to a variety of collectors, jars such as this 2in (5cm) example provide one of the livelier niches within the delft marketplace. Estimated at £800-1200 at Woolley & Wallis on June 17, it sold to the trade at £1300.

W&W sold a similar piece in 2014 for £1700.