It was part of a group of six, five of which are now in museums (four in the Dresden Porzellansummlung), making it the only example in private hands.
Many bidders were in the competition for this piece up to around $40,000-50,000 and it was finally secured for $80,000 (£62,500) by Malcolm D Gutter, who has been building up his own impressive Meissen collection for many years.
Five of the top lots in the Arnhold sale were Kändler-modelled figure groups. This a field to which Henry Arnhold turned to later in his collecting career, purchasing many of them, including a group of Commedia dell’arte figures, in the mid-2000s.
The most expensive example, The Mockery of Art, from c1740-45, sold for a lower-estimate $60,000 (£46,875) to an American dealer. Arnhold tended to buy many of his pieces through dealers, either when purchasing direct from them or when buying at auction. This particular group was last under the hammer in 2005 at Christie’s London rooms when it realised a premium-inclusive price of £74,400, acquired for Arnhold from the auction via the London dealer Errol Manners.
Opportunities to buy ‘more affordable’ pieces were available in the Arnhold sale as lots guided at $2000 or lower had no reserve. A small 3in (8cm) high mug from c.1740, with hausmaler decoration representing the month of September, went for $300 (£235).