By way of introduction...

Why did I use this little black dog holding a bunch of flowers as inspiration for my user name?

This is Duchess, a character in Beatrix Potter’s The Tale of the Pie and the Patty Pan. I collected the Beatrix Potter figurines as a child and this was my favourite. It was nowhere near as popular as the more well-known, more colourful, characters (Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, etc) and didn’t sell well. Now, many years later, I find that, because of its initial unpopularity and subsequent scarcity, it is the most valuable by far of all the figurines, lusted after by collectors the world over.

So there is the moral of this tale: it wasn’t the showiest show pony that turned out to be the most valuable. It was just a humble minor character, thought by many to be dull, and thus overlooked, that became the greatest treasure of all in the end.