Antiques expert Allan Blackburn looks at some collectable - and cute - pottery...
After spending the last two weeks looking at quite rare pottery, this week our attention turns to something much more common place. Surely most people can recognise these lovely little bunnies.
Pendelfins popularity endures and in each decade since they’ve been made, they receive an avid interest from collectors from all over the world.
Pendelfins were first produced in 1953 in a garden shed in Burnley by freelance artists Jean Walmsley Heap and Jeanie Todd who had initially been colleagues at Burnley Building Society. (The name Pendelfins was used because the shed where the little Elfin creatures were first made was overlooked by Pendle Hill.)
Although they originally intended to make wall plaques for Christmas presents for friends, their creations were so popular, that their order books were soon full.
The original Pendelfins were witches, pixies and elves – the pixie bods. They are no longer in production and so are very collectable.
By 1955 the well-known rabbit figures were introduced and are now the mainstay of Pendelfin’s wares. The first one was Father Rabbit, a dungareed bunny about eight inches high. A year later came Mother Rabbit and she was soon followed by a brood of younger rabbits.
Made of clay, all the figures feature a white paint which is called Pendelfin White. The use of this tint is exclusive to Pendelfin and no one else is allowed to use it, which hopefully will aid collectors in spotting fakes or copies. Many of the smaller figures are worth £20 at most but rarer examples from the 1950s and 1960s have been making big figures – many of these sell from anything from £85 - £400.
Rarity has a real bearing on your Pendelfin’s value. Many designs were only produced for a short time because of production problems and so these are particularly sought after by collectors.
One such figure is the Pendelfin kitten which was made for only two years. Its tail kept breaking off, so eventually it was produced without the tail as a Manx kitten – very
Proof of their popularity and collectability is that 5,000 models were made each week. Their members club ran for 20 years but closed in March 2013. The factory wasn’t far behind and they are no longer in production.