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It had been consigned from a local vendor who had asked the reserve to be fixed at just £150. The handle had been broken and repaired.

Dated 1833 to the underglaze blue mark, the teapot is typical of the sometimes adventurous porcelains produced at the Sèvres factory during this period.

Specialist dealers said the piece, with its central chinoiserie vignettes of playful monkeys, did not appear to be among the list of services mentioned in the Sèvres archives from the 1830s, so it might be a one-off or trial piece.

It was hotly contested by bidders worldwide before it sold to a French internet bidder via thesaleroom.com.

Eclecticism and historicism characterised much of the latter years of the 47-year tenure of prodigious factory administrator Alexandre Brongniart (1770-1847). If this was once a relatively unfashionable collecting area, then there is a suggestion that these sometimes wacky pieces are becoming more desirable.

Another Sèvres teapot dated 1832 with Chinese-inspired decoration, sold for a multi-estimate $30,000 (£24,400) at an estate sale held by SRQ Auctions in Florida in March.


Another Sèvres teapot, dated 1832, that sold at Florida saleroom SRQ Auctions for $30,000 (£24,400) on March 23.

George Kingham, at auctioneer Kingham & Orme, admitted the price was a surprise. He said: “I thought it would make £800-1000 as the handle was broken in several pieces and had old repairs. The owner wanted a £150 estimate as he just wanted to sell. So we were certainly surprised at the price.”

Arts & Crafts specialist Kingham and Moorcroft and former Royal Doulton dealer Gary Orme held their first auction in February. The next auctions will be held in November.