As with many areas of collectable ceramics, the marketplace for Sylvac animals has been rather muted in recent times. But, if prices have flat-lined for most pieces then there are still collectors waiting in the wings should something truly rare present itself.

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Sylvac leopard licking its paw – £800 at 1818 Auctioneers.

1818 Auctioneers of Kendal found one when they sold close to 700 pieces of Sylvac for a local client on September 25.

The study of a leopard licking his paw is something of a holy grail in Sylvac circles. This relatively complex model (numbered 1458) is recorded and pictured in all of the major reference works but it seems only a handful were made and there are not enough to go around the collecting community. An online price guide has it at £220-320 but here bidding reached £800.

Rabbits, the most popular pieces from Sylvac's famous animal range were seen in a large variety of forms, sizes and glaze colours. Rarities included a chestnut version of the Lop Eared Rabbit (model 1303) sold at £130 (a similar model in yellow took £100), Harry the Hare in green (model 1300) sold at £110 and a version of the classic seated bunny in a pink/purple glaze hammered down at £120.

The buyer's premium was 15%.