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As Victorian Staffordshire animals go, squirrels are among the rarest. The subject was a relatively common one in 18th century porcelain and pottery (Meissen, Derby and Ralph Wood all made memorable models) but relatively few mid to late 19th models appear to have been made.

There are several different recorded designs with this one, standing 9in (22cm) high and modelled eating nuts in a bocage, counting as one of the best.

Of course, all Georgian and Victorian ceramic squirrels are reds: it was the only squirrel Europeans knew prior to the accidental introduction of the now ubiquitous greys in 1876.

The sale took place on October 30.