Time to bring out the big guns or at least something out of the box, still in the box.
I stumbled on these little ducks at a crazy collector’s Garage sale, I won’t say for how much but I did get them pretty cheap cheap considering.
Sceptical, thinking they must be replicas, but then what the hell? You never see them anymore, do you? Except the 3 ceramic wall birds I have of my Mums somewhere, broken wings included, which I have neither hung nor sold. Why not hang? Dunno, lazy, can’t commit on a spot, scared of how retro they are. All of the above.
Anyway…so when I got home, inspecting my treasures more carefully once the hazy shopping blinkers where off, I looked for the barcode on the box . None. Hmm. How long has it been since the introduction of barcodes?
According to our trusty wikipedia and other lessor known more dubious urls the barcode started with a packet of Wrigley Gum in 1974. So these birds are definitely vintage. Common criteria is 20 years old +.
AND when you read the packaging it’s kind of confirmed right? How long since we used the term Whimsy to market a product? [Shabby Chic’s Rachel Ashwell excluded] No wiki info on that one but I’m guessing the 50’s or 60s? Rolling with the hunches.
There’s no markings on them, the truly collectable/collectible [? never know which word is right] ducks were first produced in 1938 in Longton, England by JW Beswick. The company flew high and prospered, and Beswick ducks were on everyone’s walls in the 1950s and 1960s. They fell from favour as trends do and the ducks stopped coming in 1973.
Beswick ducks image from The Saleroom
There’s been many copies since, most recently from China and most commonly a grouping of just three ducks. If you have five, you are ahead of the game, says Ainslie Paton
Discovered another species of wall birds when I spotted a gorgeous set of 3 blue swallows while treasure hunting in Kiama NSW. For $50 I so quickly thought I HAVE to have them, a closer squint with my damn-you-ahem-forty -something eyes, had me just as quickly putting them back up on the wall. Actually, missed a zero. $500!
They had the original stickers. What you need apparently.
Turns out the ones I have from our family home, are the same brand, Lyndale [modelled by J Moss] How about that? They may get a chance to fly again after all.
Meanwhile this gorgeous box of ducks is up for grabs. I can’t decide how old they are, definitely vintage but most likely not Beswick, I finally got the courage to open the package and unstick one from the cardboard, probably a collector no no, but I did need to know know. You know?
No. No markings, though some Beswick escaped the stamping and marking. But you would think if they did come in a box it would have had the company logo? Bueller? And on another look, the wording “New delightful & wall decor” is that a poor translation? From Japan? China? Who knows? The china is quite fine and beautifully hand painted but again, only 3 [Beswick were most commonly a set of 5] but considering the new replicas are selling for $85 AU + and not nearly as nice, I would have to say at $180 they are fair game. The colours [purples and aquas are actually nicer than the browny green Mallard if you ask me]
And if there’s any expert wall bird watchers/ collectors out there this hack would welcome your advice. It’s open season. Tally ho. What what.