Clearly, few of us can afford to buy at the top end of a dealers' stock consistently or if at all. But price group E (John's top group) should not be considered like the number 13--off limits. Admittedly, E is for Extravagant, Exorbitant, and Excessive. But it is also the letter for that mirage all collectors pursue: Excellence. And Excellence is Elusive!
As far as examples of Flight and Return go, John's pair took my breath away. The light danced around the glaze on the interior of the spills, the enamels were rich, and I knew these figures had an impressive footprint. I have seen but one other pair of WALTON Flight and Return spills. They reside in the Reserve Collection of The Potteries Museum in Stoke-on-Trent and are definitely Not For Sale!
The figures have since sold. I didn't buy them because I was recovering from sending John a chunk of money. Yes, I love finding great figures inexpensively but I do put my money where my mouth is and buy the best when I can. I might just buy from Osama Bin Laden if he had what I wanted. The difference is that with John it is always a pleasure.
The Flight and Return have been depicted as mirror images in art for centuries. The Return appears on the 8thC Ruthwell Cross and both appear in the 12thC St. Alban's Psalter. By the 19thC, they were common in art and even occurred in cheap wood cuts, such as the one below.