The rare Doulton figure that made £10,500 at Duke’s sale in Dorchester on February 5-6.

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Estimated at £800-1500, the HN number names the figure as Little Mother. However, with the base marked Dolly, this suggests that the name had yet to be decided upon at the time it was made.

It seems that the figure designed by Harry Tittensor was an early prototype for a limited production run between 1921 and 1938.

Prototypes and rare colourways remain the most buoyant sector of the Doulton figure market, and this piece was no exception.

With auctioneer Guy Schwinge claiming that the Dorchester saleroom saw its best attendance for some time as bidders hoped their rivals would be deterred or hindered by the snow, it easily soared over estimate and was finally knocked down to a US buyer at £10,500.

The buyer's premium was 19.5 per cent.