Beswick Pottery, otherwise known as J. W. Beswick, was a pottery manufacturer founded in 1892 and his sons John and Gilbert in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent. Best known for high-quality figurines such as race horses and champion dogs, Beatrix Potter inspired figurines and other characters as diverse as farm animals and Disney characters, pieces are highly collectable. Potteries Auctions can identify and provide valuations on a wide range of Beswick pieces.
Popular Beswick Items at Auction
Sold November 2022
Sale Price £1,700
Sold June 2017
Sale Price £6,600
Sold November 2022
Sale Price £11,300
Sold March 2023
Sale Price £3,000
Sold July 2018
Sale Price £3,600
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Whether you are looking to buy or sell Beswick collectables or figurines, the team of experts at Potteries Auctions can help you find the piece you are looking for, or value your items for sale. Request a call back if you are looking for a valuation and are seeking to sell some Beswick collector pieces at auction.
Beswick Pottery Facts
- Established in 1894 at Longton in Stoke on Trent, and the Beswick Pottery first made its name producing affordable tableware and ornaments.
- Beswick turned to producing animal figurines in the 1930s for which they are perhaps best known nowadays. Beswick was sold to Royal Doulton in 1969, and continued producing figurines up until the closure of the pottery in 2002.
- Many Beswick pieces are sold at auction for very reasonable prices. However, rarities such as the Shire Horse (model 818) still command large sums of money, where we sold an example of this piece for £3,400 in 2011, for example.
The History of Beswick Pottery
Based at the Gold Street works in Longton, they originally produced tablewares and ornaments such as Staffordshire cats and dogs. James Wright Beswick died in 1921, but the company continued to expand under his grandson, John Ewart Beswick. In 1934 the introduction of high fired bone china meant they could produce high-quality figurines, such as famous race horses and champion dogs. The company was made a limited company, John Beswick Ltd, in 1936.
In 1939 Arthur Gredington was appointed chief modeller and they began producing farm animal figurines. Arthur Gredington’s range of 190 Rearing Horsemen is one of the largest (and most popular amongst collectors) ever produced by the company. Under decorating manager Jim Hayward, there was a shift towards lifelike animal pieces, including cats, dogs, farm animals, fish and wild animals. Continued expansion enabled the acquisition of the adjoining factory in 1945 to accommodate offices, warehousing and new potting and firing facilities.
In 1947, Lucy Beswick suggested bringing to life the illustrations in the Beatrix Potter books. In 1948, John Beswick secured the right to reproduce a range of 10 Beatrix Potter earthenware characters, the first of which was Jemima Puddle-Duck, modelled by Arthur Gredington. In 1952, Beswick began manufacturing a range of Disney characters, including Snow White, Mickey Mouse and Bambi. Along with the designs of James Hayward, the high-quality pieces they produced have became highly sought-after.
In 1969 Beswick was sold to Royal Doulton, and although animal figures continued to be produced, by 1989, the Beswick backstamp was dropped in favour of the Royal Doulton Royal Albert DA backstamp.
The popularity of the Beatrix Potter characters was a factor in re-introducing the range in 1998, specifically for the collectors market. By the end of 2002, Royal Doulton ceased production of all Beswick products and in 2003 the Gold Street works were sold off to property developers.
In 2004 the Beswick name and product design rights were sold off, John Beswick name is now owned by Darlington Crystal, which continue to produce animal figurines using some original production moulds from the Gold Street works,they also produce vases under the John Beswick name.The Snowman and The Gruffalo figures are just some of the nursery figures still being produced.
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