In the collectable ceramics market, few figurines have captured the hearts of enthusiasts over the years quite like the Beswick horse. Selling Beswick figures has been a cornerstone of our auction house since the 90s, so we’ve seen huge numbers of Beswick horses of all shapes, sizes and colourways pass through our saleroom over the decades.
Beswick have long been renowned for producing quality animal and wildlife models which there is still a strong market for, however there’s a certain appeal to the rarer Beswick horse models in particular that have avid collectors clamouring to add them to their cabinets to this day.
Let’s explore what makes Beswick horses rare or valuable, which Beswick horses sell well at auction, and take a look at some of the popular Beswick horse figures sold at auction throughout the years here at Potteries Auctions.
What makes a Beswick horse figure rare?
The main factors that determine how rare and valuable a Beswick horse figure is are its model number and colourway. Arguably the most collectable Beswick horse figure is the Beswick shire horse, AKA model 818, which is often highly sought-after and has people bidding for them enthusiastically and consistently at our auctions.
Characterised by its muscular build and strong presence, the Beswick shire horse is a majestic figure that can attract collectors from all over the globe. As with Beswick horses in general, the rarity and value of a 818 shire horse is mostly determined by the colour of the model, with common brown and grey models being the least valuable, and rarer colourways such as piebald and skewbald being more valuable. Did you know there are supposedly 11 different Beswick horse colourways?
If you’re considering adding a touch of equestrian elegance to your collection, or have some figures that you’re thinking of selling at auction, then check out some of the rare Beswick horse figures that have sold well at auction with us recently below.
This rare Beswick shire horse is (to our knowledge) a world record for a Beswick figure sold at auction! Lot 267 was a rare variant of the model 818 Beswick Shire horse in a Painted White Gloss colourway that sold at our November 2022 Fine Art sale for a record breaking £11,300! Just a few of this particular colourway are known to exist in the world, as apparently creating the white colour in question was a lengthy and expensive process.
Before this, our own previous best auction price for an 818 shire was this Beswick shire horse in a Strawberry Roan colourway, which sold for £6,600 back in June 2017.
This rare Beswick mare and foal model 953 on a base in a Rocking Horse grey colourway is believed to be only figure known in existence. It sold for an astonishing £8,000 at our November Fine Art sale this past November.
This figure gained attention not so much for its colour variant – although black Beswick shires are still desirable – but for being a special edition item. While not reaching the heights of rarer colourway shire horses, this Beswick black shire horse 818 Collector’s Club Special figure still found a very respectable hammer price of £700 at our November 2023 Fine Art Sale.
The golden colouring of the Palamino has been much-loved and celebrated throughout history, making Beswick Palamino horses quite well-received at auction despite not actually being all that rare compared to other colourways. This Beswick Palomino 818 Shire horse fetched a wonderful £850 at our 20th-century Rare Ceramics, Collectables, Jewellery & Furniture Auction last November.
Not to be confused with the more common and less valuable brown Beswick horse, the warm colourway of this delightful Beswick chestnut pony figurine fetched an amazing £1,400 back at our single-collector specialist Beswick auction back in May 2021.
Prototype models are often desirable to collectors as it means that the particular style or colourway it’s in will only exist in incredibly limited quantities. This Beswick prototype model of Queen Elizabeth on a Skewbald horse sold for a marvellous £1,300 at our March 2021 Fine Art Auction.
This rare Beswick piebald shire horse 818 sold for a wonderful £1,900 back in November 2017.
While this rare Beswick skewbald shire horse 818 found a new home in the same auction for a smashing £3,350!
Selling your Beswick horse at auction
If you have a Beswick horse for auction, get in touch and we can help you with a valuation. Free valuation days are held every Tuesday at our Silverdale saleroom, where our friendly team of experts can value your Beswick horse figures and any other items to help you consign them to auction. To book an appointment, use our online booking form here.
If you can’t come in and see us in person but would like to submit items for auction or valuation, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details and a photograph (eg make, model, model number, measurements, condition) and one of our experts will provide information and auction estimates. Alternatively, give us a call on 01782 638100 to arrange an appointment. We can even value your items via WhatsApp – simply send some clear pictures of your items via the app to 07864 667940.