Sentinel, a rare Royal Doulton advertising figurine dated September 1921, £6500 at Hansons.

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Probably the best known of these are the Sketch Girl, created for Sketch magazine, and the Beefeater holding a copy of The Illustrated London News.

A larger and rarer advertising figure is the 18in (44cm) high Sentinel, based on the company logo of the Sentinel Waggon Works.

The firm, once celebrated as a leading maker of railway wagons and steam locomotives, commissioned the figure in 1921 after recently opening an assembly plant at Shrewsbury, with a flow line based on the Model T Ford factory in Michigan.

Its trademark of a standing knight with the legend Ever Watchful and On the Alert was applied to its vehicles until the firm closed in the 1950s.

Handful known

Only a handful of these are known, although one took £7000 at Potteries Auctions in 2015.

Another that came for sale at Hansons (26% buyer’s premium) in Etwall, Derbyshire, on December 12 was not in perfect condition (it had restoration to the base) but nonetheless brought £6500 (guide £2000- 3000).

None of the Doulton figures were assigned HN series numbers but carry typical backstamps and impressed dates, in this case September 1921.