Rarity and desirability apart, one thing more than any other is responsible for driving an auction price spiralling upwards: two collectors desperate to fill a gap in their respective collections who each find the missing piece in the same sale. Whether or not that’s what pushed the bidding for this Lenci figure to a sale-topping £2,700 we’ll never know, but its estimate at Adam Partridge’s Liverpool saleroom was a more affordable £200-300. That’s the joy of auctions…so long as you are the seller! The stylish 46cm (18in) tall girl wearing a wide brim straw hat and scarf, yellow jacket and culottes matching her scarf is both rare and desirable. She dates from the 30s and was made in the Turin factory founded by Enrico Scavini and his wife Elena Koneig.