I love collecting things, especially figurines, which makes my home look interesting or somewhat cluttered, depending on your viewpoint.
These collectable Beswick storybook figurines make for very popular presents not only for children but for collectors as well. The Beatrix Potter china ornaments are beautifully crafted by artists—Graham Orwell, Alan Maslankowski, Ted Chawner, David Lyttleton, Arthur Gredington, Graham Tongue, Amanda Hughes-Lubeck and Albert Hallam.
This article showcases my large collection of Beswick/Royal Albert figurines in the Beatrix Potter Peter Rabbit series. In addition to photographs and descriptions of the models I own, I will tell you a little about Beatrix Potter herself and how she came to write the Peter Rabbit series—along with her rapid rise to fame. I will also tell you a little about the Beswick designers and the important significance of Beswick backstamps.
How I Started Collecting Beatrix Potter Figures
My lifelong affection for Beatrix Potter figures began when I was given a Beswick figurine, Jeremy Fisher, for my birthday sixty years ago. Appealing, lovable, and faintly repellent, he travelled the world with me, a significant reminder of my childhood. This little figure lasted until I had children of my own, and eventually—after losing one hand, which was reverently glued back somewhat amateurishly—he broke and was regretfully consigned to the dustbin.
Over the years, I have gathered quite a large collection of Beswick figurines, which I now plan to sell, although I will keep one or two of my favourites.
Some Figurines in My Collection
- Tommy Brock BP 3a
- Mr Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit BP 3c
- Susan BP3b
- Mr Tod BP6a
- Appley Dapply BP2a
- Tailor of Gloucester BP2a
- Foxy Whiskered Gentleman BP-2a
- Mr Benjamin Bunny BP 2a Gold
- Pig-Wig BP 3b
- Sir Isaac Newton BP3b
- Benjamin Wakes Up BP 6a
Tommy Brock BP 3a: Standard and Very Rare Versions
In the photo above, the figurine on the left is the standard Beswick Beatrix Potter Tommy Brock BP 3a circa 1970–1974 (showing the spade handle and small eye patches). It has a blue-grey jacket, pink waistcoat and yellow trousers.
The figurine on the right is the very rare and valuable Beswick Beatrix Potter Tommy Brock in the second version, second variation (a hidden spade handle and small eye patches)—it has a rare BP 3a backstamp, only produced for one year, about 1974.
- Modeller: Graham Orwell
- Height: 3.5", 8.9 cm
- Issued: 1970–1974
Mr Benjamin Bunny and Peter Rabbit BP 3c
Mr Benjamin Bunny is seen here smacking Peter Rabbit's bottom in this scene from The Tale of Benjamin Bunny.
- Modeller: Alan Maslankowski
- Height: 4", 10.1 cm
- Issued: 1975–1995
This figure appears to have a very rare backstamp: "Frederick Warne plc 1983" (as opposed to Frederick Warne & Co), which is not even mentioned in Beswick's Collectables, although I have seen it elsewhere on the internet. A rare backstamp would increase the value considerably.
- Modeller: David Lyttleton
- Height: 4"
- Issued: 1983
Mr Tod BP6a
- Modeller: Ted Chawner
- Height: 4.75", 12.1 cm
- Issued: 1988–1993
Appley Dapply BP2a
This Beswick Beatrix Potter Appley Dapply BP2a figurine goes for about £150.
- Modeller: Albert Hallam
- Issued: 1971–1975
Tailor of Gloucester BP2a
Tailor of Gloucester is one of the less valuable Beswick figurines, so it would make a good starter to a collection. This figure depicts a brown mouse on a yellow bobbin of red thread.
- Modeller: Arthur Gredington
- Height: 3.5"