Politically correct it is not, but the ‘Negro Cricketer’ pattern, produced for just one year in 1907, certainly ranks among the rarest and most desirable of Royal Doulton series wares.

Banbury auctioneer Holloway's (17.5% buyer's premium) had two plates, consigned by the same private vendor, in their September 29 sale.

The first of the 9.5in (24cm) diameter plates, both decorated with oak leaf borders, was titled Ready for Chances and lured one collector to Oxfordshire from South Wales. To plug a hole in his collection, he went to £1200 to secure it.

The second plate, titled Out for a Duck, was also estimated at £100-150 and sold for £580 to another collector.