Beswick backstamp dating

In 1948 the company began producing characters from the Beatrix Potter books - an immediate success that led to a number of similar ranges notably the Disney, the Winnie the Pooh and the Alice in Wonderland figures.The early days of Beswick collecting were times when information on range and rarity was very hard to come by.

Added to these are the surprisingly avant garde models by Colin Melbourne - the so-called CM series of the late 1950s - that have long polarised opinion in the collecting community.Modelled in 1987 by the studio's latter day chief designer Graham Tongue, it depicts a pit pony called Kruger who retired from the Chatterley Whitfield colliery in 1931.A run of four (or possibly five) was made to mark a royal visit to the colliery in 1987.Realism and accuracy were key to their appeal: as the desirable characteristics of Hereford cattle changed over time so did Gredington's models of the breed. Lesser known breeds, such as Galloways, had shorter runs and consequently rank high on the most-wanted list.Beswick animals are traditionally divided into half a dozen categories - and often collectors will choose to focus on one.As cutting edge as Gredington was traditional, Melbourne is today much admired by the 'Festival of Britain' generation.Also staples of today's Beswick collecting field are the storybook figures.Certainly some collectors of Beatrix Potter figures only look for those with the pre-1971 'gold' mark (replaced by the 'brown' mark a couple of years after Beswick were taken over by Royal Doulton in 1969), believing them to be superior.Perhaps the rarest of all Beswick's output is the .Arthur Gredington, who was appointed chief modeller in 1939, found inspiration across the animal kingdom from cats and kittens to butterflies and leaping fish.But he is best known as a prolific modeller of horses (he created more than 130 different equine models) while his reproductions of champion stock were particularly admired in the farming community which became an important market for the factory.

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