Part of a celebrated set of menu holders designed for the Doulton Lambeth factory c.1886, one mouse plays a musical box, the other a triangle.
It was found in a charity shop in the 1970s by a vendor who consigned it for sale to Ewbank’s (25% buyer’s premium) Decorative Arts auction in Woking on April 29. Estimated at £500-800, it took £1600.
Three pieces from a Tinworth mouse chess set sold for £1000 at Potteries Auctions (20% buyer’s premium) in Stoke-on-Trent on March 12.
The trio of pieces (from a highly desirable set that can bring close to £10,000) were a black king, red bishop and red knight.
Leading this sale of collectable ceramics was a prototype character jug of the astronaut Neil Armstrong modelled by Timothy Pots in 2008. Considered by Doulton for the 2009 character jug of the year, it was never put into production. These one-off jugs can bring quite different prices but the subject matter of this example – together with Apollo rock and space helmet handle – certainly appealed. It took £3900 (estimate £3000-6000).
Another prototype character jug featuring Robert Lee to one side and Ulysses S Grant to the other sold at £1900, while that of James Dean took £1800.
The latter, with a ‘Property of Royal Doulton’ backstamp was designed in 2005 for the Celebrity Film Star Collection that was shelved after the project ran into copyright issues.