Gardner is best known for its series of idealised ‘old Russian’ characters: typically peasants, vendors and tradesmen who lived in the empire.
However, this 8½in (22cm) figure on its rococo base is from a series of more unusual and more risqué subjects made in the 1840s-50s. Skinner of Boston sold a group of them in 2006 for prices between $5000-10,000.
The ballet dancer came for sale at Fonsie Mealy (22% buyer’s premium inc VAT) in Castlecomer, Kilkenny, Ireland, on July 23. Pitched at €80-150, it attracted interest from buyers in Russia and the UK. It sold to a bidder using thesaleroom.com at €3200 (£3100).