THE meteoric growth in demand for the rarer Beswick farm animals in good condition saw more money change hands for a 20th century Beswick Belted Galloway Bull than for an 18th century Whieldon bull and calf, at Brightwells' (15% buyer's premium) 524-lot April 28 specialist ceramic outing.

A one-off consignment from a local private source estimated to fetch £350-450, the Galloway proved a must-have for half a dozen collectors in the room and on the telephone although it was a dealer who prevailed with a winning £2050 bid.

Another dealer on the phone secured the privately consigned Whieldon bull and calf covered in a mottled green and brown glaze on a platform base.

Unlike the Galloway, it had suffered damage to its extremities and was missing its tail. “It was a rare item to find. You see Whieldon cats but don’t often get bulls,” said Brightwells specialist Geoffrey Crofts.

Its conservative estimate reflected the damage, but it fetched £1600.

The trade also overlooked condition in the case of a large 18th century salt-glazed baluster jug decorated with chinoiserie figures in a landscape. It was cracked in several places but the strong colours, the good-quality decoration and the size of the 8 1/2in (22cm) jug propelled the bidding to a winning £1350.

Elsewhere, it was the ‘there to sell’ estimates of a 25-lot collection of Staffordshire pot lids that ensured they all sold and contributed towards the £41,690 sale total.

A Belle Vue Tavern, Pegwell Bay Prattware pot lid topped the dispersal selling on the phone at £390 against pre-sale hopes of £50-70.