Antiques Column: Quality and variety of animal models

Having recently changed my car from a two seater “sports” model to a five seater estate, I am finding it a mixed blessing.

Tuesday, 5th February 2019, 09:52 am
Updated Thursday, 7th February 2019, 16:36 pm
Beswick

While being much more value on a run to the tip or a visit to the DIY store, it also means it will accommodate more grandchildren.

I am not saying this is a bad thing, but it has made driving a less peaceful pastime.

This was the case last weekend, when fully loaded with some of the said grandchildren we set out on the road to Chester zoo.

At the zoo, in addition to the animals we also met more grandchildren.

I have to say the zoo is amazing. We are not regular zoo attendees, but I think that may change in the future.

Strangely the whole experience made me think of the Beswick factory, the wonderful variety and quality of their animal production and that wonderful man Arthur Gredington who was chief modeller from 1939 to 1957.

Thanks to him there is a huge selection of animals to choose from. Horses, cows and bulls are the most popular, especially the larger more impressive variations.

Because of the immense variety collectors tend to concentrate on one particular animal.

Some models were only made for a short time and therefore more desirable today, for example the Galloway Bull which was only made from 1963 to 1969.

He is available in three versions, with the all black being the rarest and so most prized.

Beswick was eventually sold to Royal Doulton in 1969, but animals marked “Beswick” continued to be made until 1989. They are without doubt a very exciting collectors field.