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This is an exciting prospect for the antiques detective that lurks in most of us.
And it is also associated with a style of porcelain design – Blue Ware was a porcelain design that originated in Staffordshire.
On Wednesday, the Bond Street auction house is selling the entire stock, some 800 lots, of the legendary antique dealers Sampson and Horne. For decades, Horne and his late business partner, Alistair Sampson, were acknowledged worldwide as the pre-eminent dealers in early British pottery and English country furniture.
They only ever bought interesting and special pieces (which also included needlework and paintings), so the sale promises to be a rare opportunity.
Before 1840, most Staffordshire figures were modelled "in the round", but during the Victorian era cheaper "flat-back" modelling became prevalent.
The back of a figure was left flat and undecorated on the grounds that, when displayed on a mantelshelf, it could not be seen.
This is information every keen porcelain collector should know.
In addition to exotic animals, which also include lions and tigers, there are also wild and farmyard animals and domestic pets.
In August 2012, a varied collection of good Staffordshire antique porcelain exceeded all expectations when it was sold at a Devon auction house.
The Staffordshire Pottery was predicted to sell for £70,000 but high demand pushed the hammer price to £107,000.
And then there is also the small detail that it just happened to be the region where the first potteries started in the early 1700’s, and grew into an industry from that first seed or two.
English porcelain was a mix of several types of porcelain, and with the diversity of potteries and porcelain makers in Staffordshire it is no wonder that recognized Staffordshire pieces can be any one of many varieties.