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There are a number of different variants but this one is the best, a brightly-coloured 61/2in (16cm) high
porcellaneous figure modelled as the circus performer in full gladiatorial attire surrounded by four
big cats. It was possibly made by Lloyds of Shelton sometime close to 1839 when Van Amburgh, much loved by Queen Victoria, performed in England for the first time. S.J. Hales, the Bovey Tracey specialists in Staffordshire figures, have sold two of these rare groups.

The example pictured right, in perfect condition, was consigned by a London collector to their sale of December 12. It sold to a private collector from the North of England for £6200 (plus 15% buyer’s premium), believed to be a record for a Staffordshire portrait figure.