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Beswick

History of Beswick

Beswick (1894-2002) is a family run business founded by James Wright Beswick with his sonís John and Gilbert, and Johnís son John Ewart, they all played a part in the factories fantastic successes.

The business ran from the Gold Street Works as 'J. W. Beswick' until about 1918 the firm gradually expanded its activities after the 1914-1918 war, in fancy pottery for the home and over-seas markets.

J. W. Beswick died in 1921 and his son in 1936 the Company was then made a Limited company John Beswick, Ltd. was created with the Managing Director, John Ewart Beswick and his Sales Director Gilbert Beswick introducing new pieces to the range.

In 1940 extensive reconstructions were necessary for the growth of the business and major modernisation to the working conditions therefore by 1945 the adjoining factory was acquired and made it possible to convert the Gold Street factory to accommodate offices, potting and firing. The new premises provided the decorating, finished products, packing and despatch.

Arthur Gredington was appointed modeller for animals of all kinds and is well known for this superb work of accurate and realistic animals. James Hayward also contributed to the high quality pieces as decorating manager from 1934 to art Director from 1957 he designed almost 3,000 decorations, patterns and glazing.

Albert Hallam contributed enormous skills when joined Beswick at the age of 14 as apprentice mould maker and became head of mould making and a modeller, creating butterflies, horses, dogs and cats modelled after Arthur Gredingtonís retirement including the Norwegian Fjord Horse today a very sought after piece.

Beswick wares were extremely popular in England and abroad being one of the finest ranges available, they achieved remarkable success with highly specialised lines including life-like models, grave and gay, equestrian figures, dogs modelled from famous prize-winners, birds in great variety, wild and domestic animals, fish, tobyjugs, salad ware and cottage ware including Beatrix potter collection.

In 1969 Beswick was sold to Royal Doulton animals continuing to produce new models but reducing the number of colourways and withdrawing many pieces.

By August 1989, the decision was taken for all Beswick to be produced under the Royal Doulton backstamp, all the animals produced were issued with a DA backstamp, withdrawing grey and palomino mattís from the horses colourways and only a few continued to be available in gloss.

By the end of 2002 Royal Doulton ceased the manufacture of all Beswick products an end of an era for Staffordshire and the pottery industry.

In 2003, the Gold Street works was sold to property developers ensuring that Beswick truly was History.

The above history information was kindly provided by Beswick Animals Collectables, UK.† For more information visit their website: www.beswick-animals-collectables.co.uk

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