Collecting Articles and Features

Kitty MacBride and Beswick A Tale of Whimsical Mice

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Tucked away in the heart of London’s Berkeley Square, the artist Kitty MacBride meticulously crafted a world where tiny mice sprung to life, each capturing a moment, a mood, or a playful gesture. Her intricate work of pottery stood out as a testament to her unparalleled talent. The 1970s saw the synthesis of her creativity with the craftsmanship of Beswick to bring her whimsical mice to the collectors market.

Eleven originbal Kitty MacBride figural mice groups
Eleven originbal Kitty MacBride figural mice groups. Sold for £420 at Trevanion Auctioneers & Valuers, November 2021. Some has words on bases including Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and I Gota Winner. Several of these were used in the Beswick range including The Racegoer, A Good Read and Just Good Friends.

While Kitty MacBride provided the inspiration with her charming mice, it was David Lyttleton who designed a captivating series of figures for Beswick, encapsulating the essence of Kitty’s creations (David Lyttleton also created models in the Beatrix Potter, Lord of Rings and Alice in Wonderland series among others). We take a look at some of Kitty MacBride’s original mice and the Beswick collection along with a price guide of realised prices at auction.

Kitty MacBride signatures on original mice figures
Kitty MacBride signatures on original mice figures

The Beswick and Kitty MacBride Collaboration

The remarkable collaboration resulted in the production of a series of figures, which not only embodied Kitty’s imaginative world but also expanded her reach to a wider audience. Beswick brought MacBride’s vision to a broader market, preserving her legacy and magnifying her artistry.

A Complete Series Of 11 Beswick Kitty MacBride Series Porcelain Mice
A Complete Series Of 11 Beswick Kitty MacBride Series Porcelain Mice. This lovely complete set sold for £200 at Mallams, December 2014.

Beswick’s Kitty MacBride Series

Let’s delve into the enchanting series inspired by Kitty MacBride’s mice and designed by David Lyttleton:

  1. A Family Mouse (2526) – Issued from 1975-1983, this piece captures the essence of familial bonds in the mouse world.
  2. A Double Act (2527) – A depiction of two mice in perfect harmony, released between 1975 and 1983.
  3. The Racegoer (2528) – Showcasing a mouse ready for a day at the races, available from 1975 to 1983.
  4. A Good Read (2529) – A mouse engrossed in literature, Batmouse Flies Again, released from 1975-1983.
  5. Lazybones (2530) – A relaxed mouse, chilling without a care, text on base reads I’ll trim that hedge tomorrow, issued between 1975 and 1983.
  6. A Snack (2531) – Hunger strikes in this delightful figure who is shown eating a banana, available from 1975 to 1983.
  7. Strained Relations (2532) – Capturing the occasional tiffs in the mouse world, text on base reads Are you a mouse or a man?, released from 1975-1983.
  8. Just Good Friends (2533) – A tribute to platonic love, available from 1975 to 1983.
  9. The Ring (2565) – A special piece showcasing a mouse with a cherished engagement ring, text on base reads I’m engaged, issued between 1976 and 1983.
  10. Guilty Sweethearts (2566) – A tale of mousey love and mischief, released from 1976-1983.
  11. All I Do Is Think Of You (2589) – A heartfelt portrayal of longing and love, available from 1976 to 1983.

Each figure, with its unique charm, narrated a tale from a mouse’s world, a testament to the combined genius of MacBride’s inspiration and Lyttleton’s design.

Kitty MacBride’s indelible mark on the world of pottery remains vivid and enchanting. Through her collaboration with Beswick and David Lyttleton’s designs, her mice have not only become collectible items but also icons of a time when artistry and imagination converged in the most delightful way.

Beswick Alice in Wonderland Price Guide
Royal Doulton Lord of the Rings Figures Price Guide

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