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Nevertheless, of the many forms produced by the factory, there remain pieces yet to appear in the salerooms.

One form which few had previously encountered (certainly it has escaped illustration in the major reference works on the subject) was the spill vase which appeared in Leominster.

It measured an impressive 221/2in (57cm) high and was modelled with four white lilies climbing up from a spreading base of leaves populated by a frog. It certainly intrigued a number of serious collectors and ultimately sold to one of the UK’s foremost enthusiasts for £4000 (estimate £1000-1200).

All Minton majolica pieces (bar the odd exhibition piece) were duplicated but finding another like this will be difficult.

Performing equally well against expectations was an undated (probably 19th century) white marble bust of the Greek mythological figure Ariadne raised upon a socle base, 2ft 6in (76cm) high.

Despite some chips to the plinth and the hair ringlets and some weathering, it sold for £2300.

The commercial and technical charms of a Myles Birket Foster watercolour sold at £4400 will be featured in coming weeks which brings us to two furniture sessions dominated by market-fresh material from local deceased estates.

Choice entries here were a Regency mahogany dining table extending with an extra leaf to 7ft 9in (2.36m), raised upon two pillars with ebony inlaid quadruple splay legs terminating in brass castors (estimate £2000-3000), and an early Victorian cheval library table in estate oak with burr grain veneers fashioned with gothic panelled frieze drawers and turned tapering columns carved with tulip collars and terminating in scrolled splay supports (estimate £900-1200).

They sold at £3900 (Continental dealer) and £3650 (Shropshire dealer) respectively. Private buyers bought a number of the top lots, outstripping the trade at £2800 for a smart Victorian burr walnut piano top davenport with a rising stationary compartment.

Russell Baldwin & Bright, Leominster, March 24-25
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