Tennants sale in Leyburn on March 24-26 enjoyed a substantial contribution from George Tinworth (1843-1913) and his wonderful anthropomorphic mice.

‘Wait Water’ by Tinworth for Doulton – £4800 at Tennants.

There were 19 of these Doulton Lambeth groups in total - the largest offering of its kind in recent memory - and all but a couple were exhibited at pioneering London exhibitions held in the '70s by ceramics expert and author Richard Dennis.

Most carried a degree of restoration but there were some rarities among them and estimates in the hundreds put little pressure on what in recent years has proved a strong but occasionally volatile market.

Collectively they carried an upper estimate of £12,000 but sold at £66,000, predominantly to the trade.

A trio of bids of £4800 topped the selection.

Sharing the honours were Steeple Chase - mice being ridden by frogs over a water jump); Wait Water - a group of three musicians about to have a jug of water thrown over them; and The Wheelwright - a mouse mending a wheel watched by his apprentice.