A Guide to Beswick Pottery Markings
Beswick pottery is renowned for producing high-quality porcelain figures, such as farm animals like this one. This gorgeous Beswick chestnut pony figurine sold for an amazing £1400 at our recent specialist Beswick and Royal Doulton auction.
The wonderful Beswick pottery has always been a popular part of our auctions. We recently had one of the world’s largest Beswick collections come through our saleroom which garnered plenty of interest and saw lots of rare pieces selling for high prices. Shipped over from America, this collection is so vast it had to be delivered by an articulated lorry!
The size of this collection alone goes to show how wide ranging Beswick pottery is. The value and age of each piece needs to be carefully assessed to ensure it is appropriately estimated. Here at Potteries Auctions, we are proud to have been selected to sell this special collection; it goes to show our reputation is recognised worldwide.
Let’s look at Beswick Pottery in more detail and explore some popular markings to help you on your journey of pottery collector or seller.
The History of Beswick Pottery
Established in 1894, Beswick pottery is a fine example of quality British design and manufacturing. Originally producing tableware and ornaments, Beswick is now renowned for its creation of fine ceramic models and gift pieces that are collected worldwide.
In 1969, the Beswick factory was sold to Royal Doulton and 2002 saw the final closure of the site. However, in its time of production, Beswick pottery grew many fans and collectors.
Some of the most recognisable Beswick figures are from the Beatrix Potter collection. This adorable, rare Beatrix Potter Duchess with flowers figure (right) sold for £420, among other figures which proved very popular at our recent two-day Beswick special auction, where we helped to sell one of the biggest Beswick collections in the world! This rare Beswick Colin Melbourne clown on horse figure (left) also did very well, selling for an incredibly impressive £1600.
Why is Beswick Pottery Famous?
With incredibly passionate and avid collectors all over the world, Beswick pottery and ceramics have become famous for many reasons.
Most prominently known for the reproduction of Beatrix Potter earthenware characters, Beswick secured the rights to this range in 1948. It is still highly sought after today and you’ll find pieces throughout many of our auctions.
Following on from Beatrix Potter, Beswick began to manufacture a range of Disney characters, including Winnie the Pooh and Alice in Wonderland pieces.
It’s important to note that when Beswick was sold to Royal Doulton, the backstamp was changed to the Royal Doulton backstamp. Some of the old Beswick figures continued to be produced, but this new Doulton backstamp will appear instead of the Beswick markings.
Beswick is also famous due to its animated and passionate group of collectors. Here at Potteries Auctions, we were honoured to sell one of the greatest Beswick collections, collected by Morris Abbot. Beswick collectors seem to have a real love for the brand and collect it because of the quality of the models and figures.
One of our unbelievable sales, this rare Beswick Shire Horse (818) in a strawberry roan colour sold for an astounding £6,700 at one of our Fine Art sales.
Beswick Trademark Backstamps
There are various Beswick backstamps to look out for.
Early Beswick stamps, dating from the First World War onwards, simply have the words ‘Beswick England’ in a circle or oval shape. These will often be imprinted in green.
Moving on from this marking the oval shape was removed, and the words ‘Beswick Ware Made within England’ were added.
In 1954, Beswick started to use impressed markings, adding serial numbers. During this time, ‘BESWICK ENGLAND’ was used as a backstamp and you’ll find it appears in block capital with a serial number below it.
By the time the Beatrix Potter collection arrived, more information was needed on the stamp, including the Walt Disney Copyright, the series of figures, and the date it was created.
You’ll see in the picture below examples of the variation of dates, images and colours of Beswick backstamps throughout the years.
Photo Credit: Journal of Antiques
Do you recognise any of these markings on your pieces? If you need further support, Potteries Auctions can step in. We can help you identify the date and rarity of your Beswick pieces. We can also spot fakes and copycat pieces!
Beswick isn’t just known for its animal and character figures, this lively Beswick pottery model of a Sailboat (model 1633) sold for a respectable £85 in our fine art auction.
How Much is My Beswick Worth?
The value of your Beswick piece will depend greatly on its condition and markings. Having certificates and original boxes can also increase the value. At Potteries Auctions, we can identify and provide valuations on a wide range of Beswick pieces. Our team can help value your collection, turn you into a collector or advise on how much your Beswick Pottery could be worth.
Please get in touch with us to discuss how we can help you or request a call back if you are looking for an expert evaluation and are seeking to sell your Beswick pottery. Alternatively, you can join us at one of our valuation days every Tuesday. Email us for an appointment on [email protected] or call us on +44 (0)1782 638100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.