Worcester parian menu holders modelled as politicians – £2800 at Thomas Watson.

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Each around 6in (15cm) high, these models depicting caricatures of top-hat-wearing Victorian politicians are from a rare series modelled by James Hadley, c.1874. A similar range of menu holders depicting Dickensian London ‘types’, also by Hadley, was issued at much the same time under the title of the Down ‘N Outs.

As well as the easily recognised figure of William Gladstone, this Darlington quartet includes Hugh McCalmont Cairns, John Bright, and Robert Lowe. Although not included here, Benjamin Disraeli and Arthur Richard Wellesley, Earl of Mornington were also part of the original set that was also available in coloured enamels.