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As the century moved on they became destined for younger enthusiasts and also increased in size developing into children’s tea services.

One of the major producers of these toy wares was the Caughley factory in Shropshire, and their products are the subject of a loan exhibition, which opens at Kensington Church Street dealers Stockspring Antiques on October 1.

Around 150 pieces are featured – the vast share from Caughley, but with a handful of examples from Lowestoft and Bow for comparative purposes. The bulk have come from one private collection, but five different collectors have lent pieces and, taken together, Stockspring reckon that almost every shape and pattern produced in toy form by the factory is represented.

Accompanying the exhibition is a monograph written by Stockspring’s Felicity Marno and Dr Chris Holloway, which illustrates all the exhibits and discusses the history of Caughley toy production.

Caughley Porcelain Toy Ware runs until October 13 at 114 Kensington Church Street W8. For further details call 020 7727 7995.