SylvaC Bunnies

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Introducing Sylvac specialist Chris Bateson:

I have collected sylvac for over 20 years and during this time have come across many finishes and colour variants. I am also good at spotting fakes, sadly there a quite a few of these about now.
Happy to answer any questions I will try and send you some photos of the more unusual colours in due course. I am looking now for just a few bunnies in the rarer colours to make up sets.
There were 8 sizes of rabbit in the early colours but from late 50s onwards this was reduced to just 5
Mould 1027 ceased in the 1940s. The 1400 tiny, 1065 and 1027 were not made in the later colours like primrose yellow, torquoise, gloss burnt orange,purple and mustard yellow
contact me at:  sylvacfinder@hotmail.co.uk

Wendy’s original geeky-ish scribble:

These original mold SylvaC Bunnies were produced Circa 1930 (thru to 1970). There are many ‘fakes’ on the Market judging by e-bay listings of what counts as a SylvaC bunny. A lot of the sellers don’t appear to know the legitimate mold numbers or the original colour-schemes. It is easy for someone with a copy of the original catalog (me) to spot the fakes.

A lot of buyers don’t appear to realize that SylvaC ceased trading in 1982. In the 1970’s SylvaC introduced a line of gloss-glazed rabbits and some new molds. I’ve seen sellers have either accidentally or knowingly misrepresented a post-1970 Bunny as Vintage. Maybe post 1970 is vintage?

The fakes are actually quite interesting in their own right. I’m thinking of extending my collecting strategy to explicitly collect the fakes. Provenance of the fakes is more difficult to trace. That makes them intriguing.

A catalog entry:

So cute!

All my bunnies have at least one partner except the big blue one,   1028. The big blue bunny was owned by my grandmother. It was searching for a partner for this one that kick started my collection. They are so cute!. But big blue is still in the company of all the little-ones and no partner

According to one e-bay advertisement Mould #1027 was only in use up to 1940… building of rumours and legends online…

Sweet bunny-hopping dreams

SylvaC collection

 

SylvaC Bunnies
5 votes rating 4.6

59 bits of lovely banter on “SylvaC Bunnies”

  1. Linda Mayan writes:

    I have a question. Is there anyway I could have bought a SylvaC bunny without the name SylvaC on the bottom? Mine has a black stamp in ink that says Made in England.

       2 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Sylvac does not always appear on the bases of bunnies but made in england does and a distinctive mould number 3 or 4 numerals. Unless its the tiny or 1386 size then it carries a number. A bigger size rabbit with made in england but no numbers almost certainly is not sylvac but another pottery make.

       2 likes

  2. :: Wendy :: writes:

    The two smallest sizes have no number or markings (1386 and 1400). All the other sizes have the number stamped on the base, sometimes it is difficult to read but it is always there. The number is the easiest way to identify them. They are mostly not labeled as SylvaC. ‘Made in England’ is in the mould on all the sizes except the smallest two (1386, 1400). It is a black stamp on my 1386, so it was used.

       4 likes

  3. Mat Young writes:

    Hello Wendy, I’m from Sydney Australia and I have been searching information about my SylvaC bunny but have found it difficult to locate a picture of my exact one. all colours are different. My one is a cream colour I think it was my Nanas one passed to mum. it has a number 1027 underneath with a metal SylvaC sticker. what can you tell me about it. Looking forward to your response, Mat.

       2 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    It sounds like a definite sylvac bunny. An early cellulose cream finish was done with pink inside the ears. They also did a pale cream finish called ivory which was glazed. Without a photo cannot see what you have but sounds genuine to me from description.

       2 likes

  4. :: Wendy :: writes:

    Mat, below is a link to a web page with examples of the different tags used by Shaw and Copestake during different periods:

    http://www.thepotteries.org/mark/s/shaw_cop.html

    this might help with dating your bunny

       1 likes

  5. Mat Young writes:

    Wow, your reply is so quick, thanks for that. it seems that I have an export bunny as my foil tag says \”made in great britain\” above the Sylvac logo so it is a 1930\’s bunny. but I can still find no info about value of mould # 1027. do you think it is a rare one? thanks heaps, Mat

       2 likes

  6. :: Wendy :: writes:

    It’s a bank holiday morning here in the UK, I’m having breakfast with my family and with peeps on the internet all over the world, very chilled!

    I do not know about rarity or pricing. The way that guess about it is by looking for similar items on ebay. Here is a link to the UK SylvaC ‘bunny’ for sale. It includes one 1027 at about £60. Worth also doing seperate searched on ‘Rabbit’ and the mould number

    http://pottery.shop.ebay.co.uk/items/_W0QQ_dmptZUKQ5fPotteryPorcelainQ5fGlassQ5fPotteryPorcelainQ5fChinaQ5fSMQQ_sopZ3?_nkw=bunny&_sacat=70085&_trksid=p3286.m270.l1313&_odkw=1027&_osacat=70085

       1 likes

  7. Michelle writes:

    Hi Wendy. Your pictures of the Sylvac range are just what I have needed to help my collecting, thanks for that, but they have left me with a question about the bunny colours. I have two 1067 rabbits, both marked with the model number, sylvac and ‘Made in England’ they look identical. One of the rabbits is yellow and this colour is not listed on your picture. Is yellow an original colour? Hope I have not got a fake.

       0 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Michelle,
    Sylvac did a pale yellow almost cream colour which is noted for age crazing. Dates from the 1930s. They also did ivory which has less yellow and more cream in it. In the 1960s they did a gloss mustard yellow.

       1 likes

  8. Minky writes:

    Hi Wendy
    I’ve just bought a black 5″ rabbit with a white floral pattern he looks like my other 2 sylvac rabbits but I’m not sure as no bottom
    Any ideas

    MinkysBlackBunny (4) MinkysBlackBunny (3) MinkysBlackBunny MinkysBlackBunny (2)

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Minky,
    Its not sylvac. The ears also angle differently to sylvac bunnies.

       2 likes

  9. Caroline writes:

    Hi Wendy,
    I’m a fellow bunny collector, think I’ve got about 200 (eek!). Just a quickie to say in response to Michelle that yellow is definitely a Sylvac colour; in fact there are a few different varieties of yellow and they are all fairly rare. Minky’s black bunny with white flowers would have been made around the 1950’s at the Bovey Tracey pottery in Devon. They made lots if animals in a variety of really pretty hand-painted finishes, which were often sold by the wholesaler Plichta. His name was often applied as a backstamp to base of these animals. Hope this helps! I love your site by the way. I could try and send some pics of my collection if you would like?
    All the best,
    Caroline

       0 likes

  10. :: Wendy :: writes:

    Hi Caroline, thankyou for sharing your knowledge, much appreciated. Oddly enough I’m on holiday in North Devon (near Bovey Tracey!) at the moment. Please do send me some photographs and I’ll put them here for people to see. best wishes, ::Wendy::

       1 likes

  11. Paul Doran writes:

    Hi

    I have just acquired a large blue bunny of 7.5 inches in height. It says made in england in capital letters, there is no number or sylvac name on it. It looks like sylvac to me do you think it is genuine.

    Click on picture for larger view (on flickr)
    SylvaC Bunny 7.5inch SylvaC Bunny 7.5inch SylvaC Bunny 7.5inch SylvaC Bunny 7.5inch

    Many Thanks
    Paul Doran.

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Its sadly not sylvac. No mould number and the size give it away. Possibly Wade Heath I think or another pottery make of the time

       1 likes

  12. wendy writes:

    Paul, the colour, mould, glaze and texture all look absolutely trademark SylvaC. Many of the Rabbits do not have the Sylvac name on them. They do normally have the mould number on the base – which I can’t see on yours. In my 6.5 it is on the base of the front foot.

    Also, you say it is 7.5 inches, my catolog does not have a bunny of that size, looks like they did 6.5 and 8.5 inches.

    If they did other sizes (they may have done) then they will be rare. So either you have a very rare Sylcac (no mould number, unusual size) or you have an really good quality fake – probably valuable in its own right for reason of its high quality / rarity.

    Does anyone else here know anything more? Please share!

    w

       2 likes

  13. Helen Smith writes:

    Hi Wendy

    I have a black Rabbit with the impression 1027 Made in England on the bottom with a hole in it, it also has orange eyes. I was given this a present about 35 years ago, is there anything you can tell me about it as I have never seen a black 1027 and I have been looking! Can you also confirm that it is Sylvac?

       0 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Its an early cellulose finish example of a sylvac rabbit. Cellulose as a finish was abandoned in favour of a glazed finish as it was prone to fading , discolouration and flaking.

       1 likes

  14. Sheena Stoddard writes:

    Minky’s black bunny with the white flowers was made by Bristol Pottery in the late 1950s. Caroline is quite correct that the moulds were used at Bovey Tracey in Devon for the retailer Plichta, but when Bovey closed in 1957 the moulds were taken to Bristol and used there for a while. You can also find teapots etc with that decoration, made at Bristol. Sheena (Bristol)

       1 likes

  15. Mandy McLean writes:

    Have just come across this site and was interested to read about Paul Doran’s bunny. I too have a blue bunny which looks exactly like Paul’s except mine is 5 1/2″ – another ‘odd’ size. There is only the ‘Made In England’ stamp on the base of mine and no number. Have we both got fakes?

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Mandy, I used to think the number was always there for the larger bunnies, but now I’m not sure because Paul’s bunny is large and has no number – maybe the Bovey Tracey bunnies didn’t have numbers. I don’t really know – would love to hear from an expert 🙂

       2 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Your bunny isnt a fake but sadly its not sylvac either. A bunny that size would have a mould number impressed on the base if it was sylvac. With just made in england evident it could be Price Brothers or Wade Heath, other pottery makers of the time.

       1 likes

  16. gerald writes:

    i have a large green rabbit , seems like a different green than some models. like a glowing green. maybe the colour. size 7 3/4″ High. hmm. is this the real one. has a round black stamp made in england. no other marks. OH, WAIT…looks like at a angle can see made in england STAMPED in mold. So what do i have? thank-you

    Gerald's green Sylvac Bunny Gerald's green Sylvac Bunny Gerald's green Sylvac Bunny

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Gerald, thanks for dropping by. The Bunny does look very ‘Sylvac’ which makes me think that it is! It is less ‘textured’ than the mould for my 7.5inch bunny, and a slightly different shade of green. Perhaps it is a rare newer mould (from Bovey Tracey or Bristol?). I’m not sure. Do any of my visitors know?

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Its not sylvac but not a modern fake either. With seeing the round made in england backstamp it looks similar to Avon ware who produced rabbits also. The shade of green finish also confirms its not sylvac too.

       1 likes

  17. Angela writes:

    Hi there

    I have just acquired a blue rabbit with no number or other marks on the base which measures 5 3/4″ high from tip of ears to base x 5 1/2″ long from nose to tail. It is glazed but is not glossy. It is very much like other genuine SylvaC rabbits but I’ve no idea if it is one.

    I also have acquired another cream coloured rabbit with number 1065 and “made in ???????????” stamped on the base. The finish is quite dull and the paint has flaked off in a number of places revealing yellow/mustardy coloured patches. It also has an old cork in the hole! I’d be grateful for any advice about this one. Measures the same as the blue one and almost identical other than it has hand painted eyes and inner ears (in pink)!

    Many many thanks

       1 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Angela, send me some pictures and I’ll add them to your comment, maybe someone here will be able to help.

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    This is an early example of a genuine sylvac cellulose finish, cream with pink inside the ears. It was abandoned after a few years due to the finish being prone to fading, discolouration and flaking. Sylvac moved on therafter to a glazed finish which is more popular as well as having greater longlivity.

       2 likes

  18. Wabie writes:

    Hi I just bought 2 Sylvac Rabbits on Ebay for my mother. I bought the Sylvac Green Rabbit Model 1028 Large Rabbit, SylvaC Fawn Rabbit Model 1026. Both are marked with the model number and made in Enlgand, and the 1028 has Sylvac marked on it as well.

    I’ve seen lots of pictures of these rabbits, and some of the bigger one the ears seem to be more joined together at the top then separated. Is there a reason for this?

    Many thanks of your help! Wabie

    Examples of what I bought…..

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200568907213&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_2357wt_912

    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=320646917189&ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT#ht_500wt_1156

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Wabie, that is interesting. It looks like a genuine Sylvac but the ears are definitiely different from the 1026 moulds that I have seen. Either the mold number is wrong, or Sylvac used the same mould number over time while changing the design. Looking at the picture you link I’d guess its one mould number replacing an older one. I don’t know which mould number came first… Do come back and tell us if you find out more! thanks,

       3 likes

  19. jo everill writes:

    HI WENDY, IVE BEEN GIVEN A PINK 5 INCH HIGH BUNNY THAT WE THINK MAY BE SYLVAC, THE BUNNY IS NOT STAMPED, WAS MY GRANS, AND MY MUM REMEMBERS IT BEING AROUND IN HER TEENS ASWELL WHICH WAS AROUND LATE 1950S -I HAVE FOND MEMORIES OF THIS PINK BUNNY IN MY ROOM WHILST GROWING UP . IT HAS NO MARKINGS ON IT AT ALL, ITS HOLLOW, DOESNT HAVE SUCH SHARP MOLDING TO THE EARS ITS A DUSKY PINK MATT FINISH, DO YOU THINK HES A SYLVAC. I DONT MIND IF HE IS A REPRODUCTION ILL STILL LOK HIM AS MUCH AS I DID GROWING UP , WAS JUST INTERSTED ,, WHAT DO YOU THINK??

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Jo, sounds like you have some lovely memories and a beautiful bunny. Excellent. Without pictures its really difficult to know what your bunny is – other than a great pleasure, and that’s just the best. W x

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Jo, it sounds like a Price Brothers or Wade Heath bunny.A piece this big would have a mould number on it on the base if it was sylvac

       1 likes

  20. Helen Southall writes:

    Hi Wendy

    My mum is the owner of a brown/beige bunny. It is approximately 6.5″ tall and has “made in england” and the number 1 stamped into the bottom.

    Unfortunately it met with an accident and the ears were glued back on. Although it is in one piece the join is obvious. We know that the bunny was given to a family member in 1942 however that is as much as we know.

    It looks like all the other sylvac bunnys on your site.

    Please could you tell us if it is possible that it could be a sylvac piece based on the date and number 1?

    Regards

    Helen

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Helen, great that you managed to mend the ears, the bunnies are often family treasures with lots of fond memories. I have no idea if your bunny is a Sylvac or not. If you send a digital photograph I will be happy to host it here so people will be able to help you identify it, best wishes Wx

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Helen
    Have collected sylvac rabbits for twenty years and have amassed many in many different colours. Can give advice if needed.

    I have two rabbits with number 1 stamped on the base. They were made by Kelsboro Ware and there are 2 bigger sizes stamped double 0 and single 0 and 2 smaller sizes numbered 2 and 3. Very like sylvac but face is more bulbous and there is more definition on the feet.

       1 likes

  21. Elizabeth Pittams writes:

    Hello can you help me my little rabbit is cream colour it is like a vase. It is about 5 inches high the top of its head is off and the ears fold down to form a handle I suppose it may have been for cream or milk as the little mouth is open.On the base is made in England and the number 48
    Thanks

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Sylvac did 3 jugs a dog, duck and rabbit numbered 43, 44 and 45. They were done though in only beige or green glaze finish.

    No 48 in the sylvac book does not correspond to what you describe. However a photo may help me to tell you the possible maker of the piece.

       1 likes

  22. wendy writes:

    Hi Liz, its impossible to comment without pictures. Send some and I’ll post them in your comment, maybe one of my visitors will be able to help you, W

       1 likes

  23. Greg Russell writes:

    Hi Wendy, my parents have a 10 inch rabbit, 1028 made in england on his bottom, he is a burnt orange colour in a matt finish and I can’t find any terrence to this colour. Do you know if sylvac made an orange one?

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Greg, I found Sylvac bunny ‘burnt orange’ photographs and references on the internet. Here’s an example discussion thread on the topic – http://fatlava.forummotion.com/t4922-sylvac-rabbit-colours
    I don’t know if Sylvac did a matt orange colour but people certainly talk about orange existing as a colour for their Bunnies, so it’s seems likely…

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Greg,
    Sylvac made a light orange matt almost like a flame colour I have a 1065 model in this finish. They did a matt burnt orange finish in all 8 sizes I have 3 of these 1028,1027 and 1067. They also did a gloss burnt orange in the late 1960s but only in 5 sizes. Notably the earlier rabbits had split ears on the 1028 model later models had joined ears.

       1 likes

  24. Olfa Maughan writes:

    Hi I have a sylvac dog circa 1930 about 11″ in hight and beige/ brown in colour can you tell me if it is worth going to auction with or am I dreaming Olga.M.

       0 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Olga,
    It should have a mould number on the bottom. If its a 1380 terrier they are very common and do not fetch that much money. If there is no mould number on the base then its not sylvac.

       1 likes

    Olfa Maughan writes

    The number on the bottom is 1379 and it is in perfect condition.
    Thank you for your reply
    Olga Maughan

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi,
    Its the middle size fireside terrier of three sizes made.A genuine sylvac piece almost certainly.

       1 likes

  25. penny green writes:

    Hi Wendy – I have just bought this hare- it is 3 inches high and I wanted to know if it is a fake or not! I have no knowledge of Sylvac pottery, but realise that it doesn’t have any mark on the base – so think it probably is. Can you enlighten me?

    Hare Hare Hare's bum

       1 likes

    chris bateson writes

    Hi Penny,
    Its a genuine piece the smallest of four sizes of harry hare no 1265. Due to the hollow base the mould number allocated was never stamped on this small size.

       1 likes

  26. penny green writes:

    Thanks Chris!

       1 likes

  27. Helen writes:

    Hello Wendy
    Lovley page I have just found what I caution to be a fake SylvaC bunny in a box of teaware (some of it actual SylvaC tea caddy and vase and other brands) This bunny is a large Black with orange eyes and it is attached to a a vase that is a tree with a class in it. It has the stamp Made in England and the correct number for a large bunny and then the vase has another number stamp. It is not glazed and some of the paintwork is flaking. Do you know anything about it? I know they also made vases so is it an actual piece? I ma completely new to the world of SylvaC bunnies : )
    Thnak you
    Helen

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Helen, Chris writes:

    If possible could you send me a photograph of the piece and also one of the underneath showing both mould numbers. From this I should be able to tell you whether its a fake or not and or if its not sylvac who made it

    email address: Sylvacfinder@hotmail.co.uk

       1 likes

  28. Helen writes:

    Hi yes Wendy I will do that. I was thinking maybe it is an early one as they werent glazed? Also I know that not all the types produced are recorded or seen?? Probaly unlikey but still? I just dont want to throw him out if a collector would love him if hes a one off!
    Helen xHx

       1 likes

  29. Adrian writes:

    Dear Wendy and Chris

    Thanks for a fantastic read. It’s great to come accross people who have so much knowledge about Sylvac.

    The Sylvac animals are very cute and are found all over England. As you mention there are a lot of fakes especially on Ebay and you need to be very careful. There is a great book on the animals called “Sylvac Animals” that contain great colour pictures of almost all the animals.It also lists the correct sizes of each animal.

    Thanks once again.

       3 likes

  30. jean writes:

    i have a beige and brown terrier standing dog. it has SYLVAC in capital letters underneath, the height of the dog is 4″ . i have other sylvac that have the usual number underneath, do you think this is a fake or have some been made without.

       0 likes

    wendy writes

    Hi Jean, there is a group on Yahoo! dedicated to Sulvac that might be able to help you – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sylvac/?tab=s
    Also, as indicated at the top of the page you can email Chris directly at sylvacfinder@hotmail.co.uk
    Good luck in your quest for authentication…

       1 likes

  31. jean writes:

    hi wend many thanks for that, jean

       1 likes

  32. Mike writes:

    Hi ,Great site !Thanks for all the information.I have 3 bunnies in diferent ages and colors .I have a question about one of them.It is Blue and stamped made in England 1065 but there is a hole at the tail.Looks like the tail was 1/3 cut off when being made .Have you ever seen one like this and is it an original Sylva?Thanks for any input anyone can share. Mike

       1 likes

  33. wendy writes:

    Hi Mike, a hole in the tail sounds painful!
    There is a group on Yahoo! dedicated to Sylvac that might be able to help you – http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sylvac/?tab=s
    Also, you can email Chris directly at sylvacfinder@hotmail.co.uk
    Good luck in your investigation…

       1 likes