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But he admits that with fewer quality pieces coming on the market it is getting more difficult year on year to find truly interesting items.

But during his long career the dealer has nurtured enough contacts to ensure plenty of private sources and in this way he has again turned up some outstanding pieces for his 23rd Annual Exhibition of Fine English Pottery to be held at his gallery at 66c Kensington Church Street from February 25 to March 8.

As usual the show is strong on English delftware, a highlight of which is a polychrome dish painted with a peacock. Also worth noting is a massive 17th century London drug jar, 171/4in (44cm) high, which Mr Horne thinks is possibly the largest recorded.

He has also specially saved for the exhibition a very rare Dwight stoneware tankard and a striking, colourfully glazed equestrian group of the Duke of Cumberland.

Expect around 500 objects priced from £50 to £50,000 with a catalogue available at £10 ($15).