Two collections of rare Beswick porcelain figures go under the hammer

A large number of highly-sought-after Beswick porcelain figures will go under the hammer in Barnard Castle in County Durham, UK next month.

Around 50 lots will be included in the Addisons of Barnard Castle's Antiques and Interiors Sale held on Thursday 2 September and comprise a variety of farm animals, horses and birds.

"Beswick models are incredibly popular at the moment and it is a real coup to have so many individual pieces in any one sale," said David Elstob, Auctioneer and Valuer at Addisons. "They are actually from two separate collections that quite remarkably came in for auction at the same time."

Ickham Bessie pottery
Beswick Ayrshire Cow named Ickham Bessie

Founded in 1892, the Staffordshire-based Beswick pottery became a household name for the production of high quality porcelain figures for more than a century. It is particularly famous for its animal and bird representations, with each one having a unique reference number that can be traced to the work of individual designers.

Many of the figures are based on real life animals, such as prize-winning cows and bulls or horses.

Beswick was taken over by Royal Doulton in 1969 but it was another twenty years before the figures started to carry the Royal Doulton mark. The factory finally closed in 2002, bringing an end to over a hundred year's worth of craftsmanship.

Hollydell Dixie pottery
Beswick Shetland pony called Hollydell Dixie

Although not often thought of as an investment, pottery can be very collectible with a surprising number of famous fans. For example, the comedienne Dawn French collects Clarice Cliff pottery.

"Since the demise of Beswick in 2002, examples of its pottery have been rising in value," advises David Elstob. "Many collectors focus on one type of animal - cows are currently very desirable - while others are more interested in the work of specific designers such as Arthur Gredington, who was appointed chief modeller in 1939."

The sale starts at 10am on Thursday 2 September and bidding can be made in person, online or via the telephone. The contents of the sale can be viewed the day before the sale  until 7pm, as well as from 9am on Thursday morning.


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