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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.

A run of four (or possibly five) was made to mark a royal visit to the colliery in 1987.Established in 1894 at Longton, Stoke-on-Trent by James Wright Beswick and his sons John and Gilbert, the Beswick Pottery first made its name producing affordable tablewares and ornaments.It was not until the 1930s (and specifically the introduction of a high fired bone china in 1934), that the firm turned to the animal modelling that would be their stock-in-trade for the rest of the century.As a general rule, common figures will command prices below 'guide' values - the rarest figures may generate competition above notional guidelines.From flamingo wall plaques to an outsize 'fireside' model of the popular penguin series, there are rarities in all subject areas. Others are rare only in certain colours (the emergence of a model in 'trial' colours will always excite collectors) or in glaze variations (some figures were available in either matt or gloss finishes).

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