The Lucky Sphinx Cat was offered at Kinghams (23% buyer’s premium) in the Cotswolds on December 9-11.
The Futurist series of cats (plus a pig and a bulldog) was Wain’s most progressive and modish work. Designed c.1914 at a time when Futurism was burning at its brightest, they were made during two periods of production either side of the First World War in Austria and England, c.1914, and then Czechoslovakia and England c.1919-22. Famously, a shipment carrying most of the early output to the US was hit by a torpedo from a German U-boat.
Assuming the recumbent pose of an ancient Egyptian monument, the 9in (22cm) Lucky Sphinx Cat is among the rarest models, painted here in green, blue and black with a series of hieroglyphs and cryptic incised ‘meow meow’ notes. Offered with a guide of £2000-2500, it took £6600 from a London trade buyer.
In June 2008, Canterbury Auction Galleries realised a record price for a Louis Wain ceramic when a version of the 11in (28cm) Futurist Cat in blue with Amphora factory marks sold at £8200.