Beswick oddities are not that unusual but tend to be highly sought after and hence command high prices. Usually these consist of different colour or pattern variations of normal models. There are VERY few legitimate Beswick pieces that are completely different models, despite what listings on Ebay and other sites often claim. It is always a case of buyer beware when tempted with such items - it could be a very valuable addition to a collection or a piece of low quality junk.
1435, 1437 and 1438 - These 3 fine models were designed by Colin Melbourne and issued between 1956 and 1963. Each is available in grey or ginger striped. A unique (?) black satin gloss version of 1435 is also available. This has the same gloss finish as the very rare models 1541, 1542 and 1542, which are the only other examples of this glaze.
The rarest of the Beswick cats are models 1541, 1542 and 1543 which were produced between 1958 and 1961. These are not typical of Beswick animals - the figures are not finely detailed. The heavy glaze obscures any detail on the model. In the late 1990's these models fetched £700+ at auction but the price fell back a bit after that. These days they are hardly ever offered for sale. This series also provides possibly the rarest Beswick cats - pictured below in grey / white and ginger / white editions and again these are probably one-off prototypes from the factory. These were sold at the Potteries Specialist Auctions in 2008 are fetched a total price of up to £450 each after commission.
Model 1886 was issued in many varieties but a special black and white cat was included in the advertising piece for British Coal entitled Solid Friendship. The cat occasionally pops up on its own, often with a score through the Beswick backstamp indicating a piece rejected by the factory as a second. I have also seen a single example of this piece with the Royal Doulton backstamp, indicating that they too were considering a release of this colour version at one time.
A few colour issues which are listed in valuation guides seem almost impossible to find. Those which I have seen on only one or two occasions include 1030 in royal blue, 1316 kittens in British Blue, 1436 kitten in ginger or grey swiss roll, 1558 / 1559 Siamese cats lying in Copper Lustre and Siamese cat model 2139 in matt.
Others which are listed in Charlton Standard but which I have never seen include:-
1030 - British blue, ginger swiss roll, grey swiss roll
1031 - British blue, ginger swiss roll, grey swiss roll
1296 - copper lustre
1316 - grey swiss roll, ginger swiss roll
1436 - British blue
1882 - Black matt
1887 - copper lustre
1897 - copper lustre
2139 - copper lustre
If you come across any of these please email me and ideally include a photograph.
Other unusual colour models I have come across are pictured below - 1867 in copper lustre (unsure of the authenticity of this) ,1885 kitten standing in black gloss and 1898 Persian cat standing in white with black stripes.
Swiss roll cats are featured on this page - Beswick swiss roll cats - variations.