Fast forward a while, and I came across a beautiful little pearlware mouse. Perfect, right down to the tip of its tail. Here comes the good part: the owner thought it was a particularly ugly cat and wanted just over $100. I was delighted. For once, things had gone right. I subsequently saw another mouse in the stock of John Howard. A sweet little thing, it jumped quickly off his shelf into the arms of a buyer.
So what happened to the cat-and-mouse pair I passed on? They went into the stock of Sampson Horne and featured in Jonathan Horne's last Exhibition catalogue in 2009. That honor was justified for they are rare little gems. Jonathan knew a rarity when he saw it. Sadly, the pair again came to auction early this year when Sampson Horne's stock was dispersed. This time the condition report was thorough and the mouse had apparently had an even rougher life than I had thought! Didn't stop a buyer paying over GBP2,000 for the pair.
So what happened to my lone mouse? I am pleased to tell you my story had a happy ending. I found the cat that paired with it. Now what are the chances of that happening? Almost zero....which is why I sometimes think there is a Pottery God looking out for us collectors. Here they are.
FYI, my cat has been reattached to its base, but I am very tolerant of such repair because all the orginal material is there. The only other issues were base and ear chips. A dog fight? We will never know.