img_14-1.jpg
Beswick rare Iron Grey shire horse – £5700 at Potteries Auctions.

You have 2 more free articles remaining

Consider the pricing of the classic Beswick model of the shire hose mare designed by Arthur Gredington in 1940 and in production right up until 1999.

In the 1960s-70s this figure (model number 818) sold in the thousands in common colourways such as brown and pale grey and will today typically bring £20-30. But should this figure be found in other hues (there are supposedly 11 different colourways), the price can increase 1000-fold.

Back in June 2017 a very rare model in a Strawberry Roan colourway sold for £6600 at Potteries Auctions in Stoke-on-Trent and the firm has sold examples in Skewbald (£4400 in November 2020), Piebald (£1900 in November 2017), Chestnut (£1100 in November 2017) and Rocking Horse Grey (£1000 in September 2010) for four-figure sums.

The Fine Art sale at Potteries Auctions on November 11-13 included a version of model 818 in Iron Grey. Only a few of these are known – Charterhouse sold one in 2009 for £3800 – and it carried expectations of £1000-2000 but sold at £5700.

Local production

img_14-2.jpg

Royal Doulton George Washington bicentenary jug – £6200 at Potteries Auctions.

The top-estimated lot in this sale was another local production, a Royal Doulton jug marking the bicentenary of the birth of George Washington (1732-99) made in Burslem to a Charles Noke and Harry Fenton design in 1932.

It featured the Founding Fathers signing the Declaration of Independence with a Stars and Stripes handle and Washington’s head modelled as the lip. Seemingly 1000 of these were made but only 100 were numbered – this one number 47.

It is a piece with obvious appeal across the Atlantic and several have sold in the US in recent years including that (number 40) which took $7000 at Florida firm Lion & Unicorn in March this year. This one, guided at £4000-8000, made a very similar sum: £6200.

Two Doulton prototype large-size character jugs modelled in the late 1990s but never put into production made decent sums – although perhaps not the sort of money these one-offs once commanded.

The Swagman, modelled by William Harper, sold at £3100 while a jug depicting Winston Churchill (not the best likeness) made £2900.

Rarer Doulton

img_14-3.jpg

Royal Doulton HN series figure Pavlova (Swan Song) – £3200 at Potteries Auctions.

Rarer Doulton HN series figures continue to spark levels of interest that more common issues can no longer hope to generate.

A Noke design from the 1920s is Pavlova (Swan Song) – a figure of a ballerina playing the Dying Swan inspired by Anna Pavlova’s visit to Europe in 1908. This figure was first introduced in 1921 and re-introduced after Pavlova’s death in 1931.

A number have appeared for sale in recent memory, including two offered by Woolley & Wallis: one sold for £4600 in 2009 and another hammered for a mighty £6500 (estimate £150-250) just a few months ago (August). A repeat of that bidding contest was unlikely but the example at Potteries made a very solid £3200.