Tuesday 9 November 2010

1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster

We are very excited about one particular lot coming under the hammer at our next Fine Art and Antique Auction on Wednesday 15th December as we will be selling a fabulous 1950 Jaguar XK120 Roadster................

Jaguar introduced the XK120 Roadster at the London Motor Show in 1948 as their first post-war sports car.  "XK" refers to the new type of engine created by Jaguar and "120" refers to its top speed of 120mph - although it could go faster with the windscreen removed. 

This made it the world's fastest production car when it was launched.

The Roadster was the first type of XK120 to be produced, followed by the FHC - fixed head coupe in 1951 and the DHC - drophead coupe in 1953.  The Roadster's sidescreens and canvas top could be stored behind the seats and the streamlined car had no external door handles and could have the windscreen removed to allow aeroscreens to be fitted instead.

The car was a massive success winning races and breaking endurance records including being driven flat out for 24 hours (with stops for fuel, tyres and driver changeover) by Leslie Johnson and Stirling Moss in 1950 - the first production car to average over 100 mph for 24 hours.  

We believe that the model that we have coming up for auction was also raced by its owner and while it is clearly in need of restoration we still expect there to be fierce competition when it comes under the hammer. 

Fine Art and Antique Auction
Wednesday 15th December 10am

Saturday 11 December 10am-1pm
Tuesday 14th December 2-7pm

Gabrielle Designs Paddington Bear

Teddy bear enthusiasts and vintage toy collectors need to get ready for a lovely lot coming up for sale at Boldon Auction Galleries at our next General Sale.....................

...........a vintage Gabrielle Designs Paddington Bear complete with his luggage label from "Darkest Peru to London, England".

Gabrielle Designs was started in 1972 by TV presenter Jeremy Clarkson's mother and father from their home near Doncaster.  The first Paddington was made for Jeremy and his sister as a Christmas present. 

Shirley Clarkson stood her bears in small childrens' boots to help them stand up and this is how Paddington acquired his famous wellingtons.

Very early Paddingtons had stump legs with no shape for the foot while later bears had a more defined foot shape.  Similarly, early bears wore child's Dunlop wellies until demand grew so huge that Shirley Clarkson had to commission specially made boots with bear paw prints moulded into the sole.  Early bears also wore a range of coloured coats and hats until certain colour combinations proved most popular - such as red and blue or yellow and black.

Our bear appears to fall into the earlier production phase due to the colour of his clothing and his dunlop wellies, although he does have the slightly later style of foot. 

Similar bears are being sold online from £65-£100 so we'll keep our fingers crossed that our very own Paddington Bear will have a happy ending in a new home.

The next General Sale will be held on
Wednesday 17th November at 10am
Viewing on Saturday 13th November from 10am-1pm
and Tuesday 16th November from 2-6pm

Tuesday 2 November 2010

The appeal of Beswick

We hope to use these pages to highlight interesting items that are coming up for sale, to share our newsletters, to provide useful information on antique styles and terminology and also to provide a brief history of some of our most popular designers and makers.

So the arrival of an impressive collection of Beswick horses and other animals in our office this week has, unsuprisingly, prompted a post about the Beswick potteries.

J W Beswick was founded in the early 1890s by James Wright Beswick and his sons John and Gilbert and was based at Longton, Stoke on  Trent and initially focused on tableware and Staffordshire style cats and dogs.  When James Wright Beswick died in 1921 the company continued to develop under his grandson John Ewart Beswick and in 1936 became a limited company, John Beswick Ltd.

In 1934 high fired bone china was introduced which meant the company could produce high quality, fine detailed bone china figurines. 
(Fireside dogs sold for between £75 and £100 each)
In 1939 Arthur Gredington was appointed as chief modeller and the company began to produce farm animals and Arthur's range of 190 Rearing Horsemen which became one of the largest and most popular collections.  Early animal figures had been more humorous in semi-human poses but under decorating manager Jim Hayward there was a move towards more lifelike animal portrayals.  In 1945 the company was able to expand into the adjoining factory.

In 1947 Lucy Beswick suggested modelling the illustrations from Beatrix Potter's books and in 1948 the company secured the right to reproduce 10 of the characters starting with Jemima Puddle-Duck.  In 1952 they went on to produce a range of Disney characters including Snow White and Bambi. 

(Sold for £190 in September 2009)

In 1969 the company was sold to Royal Doulton who continued to produce some animal figures but by 1989 the Beswick backstamp had been dropped and replaced by a Royal Doulton Royal Albert DA stamp.

The range of Beatrix Potter figurines was reintroduced in 1998 but by the end of 2002 Royal Doulton stopped producing Beswick products and sold off the potteries.

In 2005 the brand name, moulds and archive material were bought by another company who now produce a range of animal figures under the name John Beswick. (for more information see Wikipedia)

A wide selection of pieces come through our saleroom both in the General Sales and the Fine Art and Antique auctions (see above for some examples from recent sales)  and prices can range from about £20 for a couple of small pieces upto £750 for this pair of boys on their ponies,

so it will be interesting to see how the recent arrivals will sell.