Pig ornaments have never been as cute as these...

Piggins make fantastic collectables
Piggins make fantastic collectables
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Our antiques expert Allan Blackburn looks at the Piggin pigs brand of colleactables

A wonderful collection of Piggin pigs trotted into the centre recently. Pig figurines are amongst the most popular collectable ornaments. Naturalistic or comic they are always characterful.

Piggin pigs are amusing figurines made by renowned wildlife artist David Corbridge.

Living on a farm in County Durham, he enjoyed drawing the antics of the frolicking pigs who surrounded his cottage, especially one characterful sow, ‘Tuesday’.

Bill Dodd, the chairman of Collectible World Studios, had long been searching for a new range. Friends Corbridge and Dodd began collaborating and the Piggin range was born.

The first figurine, 'Piggin' Tired', based on a snoozing Tuesday, launched the brand in 1993.

With their affable personas and nicely detailed matt finish for a reasonable price, Piggins became instantly popular, and the range quickly expanded.

The Piggin Club launched swiftly in 1994 and enabled members to receive club pieces, pins and news. It ran from 1994-2006 when Collectable World Studios also closed.

With over 500 different designs, Piggins are never going to be rare, however their cheeky personas make them charming collectables.

Nice pieces can be picked up for a few pounds, more for larger, group models.

These cheeky characters are from a range available in the centre, with prices ranging from £10 to £25.

Because Piggins traded on their collectability, there is still a surprising secondary trade in Piggin Club authenticating sundries, and collectors still advertise to secure a missing certificate or box.

Whilst cute Piggins are appealingly affordable, more discerning collectors look for Wemyss pigs, a line of pottery first produced in 1882 by Fife pottery owner Robert Heron with Czech decorator Karel Nekola.

Wemyss’ large, distinctive pigs have white or cream backgrounds handpainted with fruit, thistles and flowers, giving them a peasant ware feel.

The most expensive collectable pigs, good examples sell for upwards of £1,000.

In 2004, a pair of Wemyss sleeping piglets sold at Sotheby’s for just under £70,000!

So keep an eye out for these colourful creations, and you could be as happy as a pig in clover!