Sunshine Ceramics NatWest Pigs

Wade Woody
Wade - embossed mark


Sunshine Ceramics started production of the NatWest piggy banks in early 1982 and all of the pigs in the original collection of five were modelled by Paul Cardew based on the designs provided to him.

The company was unable to cope with the unexpectedly high demand for the piggy banks and production of the pigs was eventually taken over by Wade Ceramics Ltd.

Sunshine Woody
Sunshine Ceramics - no mark
It is believed that Sunshine Ceramics produced about 400 complete sets of the five pigs, which were pre-launched at various NatWest branches around the country and in addition they produced possibly up to 100,000 Woodys before ending production in 1983. Paul Cardew subsequently became very well known for the famous teapots he produced at his Cardew Design pottery.

Sunshine Ceramics confirm that their pigs had no backstamp, whereas all Wade pigs are marked ‘Wade England’.
However many of the Sunshine Woodys we have seen have an embossed 'B' or 'W' marking on the bottom.
Set of Sunshine Pigs  


“The Sunshine Woody is the one without a backstamp . . . . .”
– absolutely correct, but equally as wrong!

A great amount of detail has come to light in the past months about the original Sunshine Woody and there are now enough facts to verify the truth. Thanks largely to the hard work and perseverance of Australian collector Kylie the real Sunshine Woody has been identified. The true story of the Sunshine Ceramics Woody is now resolved, however another mystery is introduced!

It has generally been understood that Woodys without any markings on the base were made by Sunshine Ceramics and those made by Wade carried the backstamp “Wade England”. This has been proven to be incorrect because there is now a third Woody –
the real Sunshine version.

True, he has no backstamp (although he has been seen with an embossed letter "B" or "W"), but he is from a completely different mould and is a different shape, weight and size. The photographs to the right and below show the main differences; the most noticeable being the shape of the base and the waistband of the nappy under the nappy pin. The Sunshine Woody has a very distinct curve to the top of the nappy, whereas on the non-Sunshine pigs it is level and straight. It had always been known that Wade re-modelled the pigs when they took over production in order to remove sharper edges and features which had to be smoothed out to suit their faster production methods.
However it is now understood how significant some of the changes were.

December 2007 was the 25th anniversary of the original pigs and to mark the occasion a special Silver Anniversary limited edition set was produced by the Paul Cardew Pottery. These were made from the original moulds and it is quite obvious that the original Sunshine Woody has the same characteristics as the new Silver Anniversary limited edition pig. It is most noticeable how different the base is to the Wade model.

Wade embossed mark
Sunshine Woody
Sunshine Silver Anniversary
Wade Woody

But now we have a far more difficult dilemma – who made the thousands of unmarked Woodys which have a remarkable resemblance to the Wade Woody?

The only sensible possibility appears to be that a third pottery was involved. There was definitely a huge demand for Woody at that time and for Wade to produce the numbers initially required could have been difficult for them. It is possible that Wade sub-contracted some of the work, maybe to one of their subsidiary companies that they owned or part owned and that Wade would not permit their “Wade England” backstamp to be applied to items not produced in the Wade pottery.

Sunshine Anniversary & Original
Unmarked Woody
Wade & Sunshine Woody
Sunshine Anniversary (L)
and Sunshine Original (R)
Unmarked Woody
Wade (L) and
Sunshine (R) Woody

All guesswork, but can anyone come up with a better solution,
or better still is there an ex-employee of Wade who might know
the full story? Any information would be much appreciated.


Sunshine Woody

Wade WoodyWade Woody

Sunshine WoodySunshine Woody

Wade Woody Wade Woody
There is a similar, unsolved puzzle as to

who made the A
nnabel pigs marked “Made in England”

We have seen documented claims that some of the Annabel pigs issued by the NatWest
Bank were marked ‘Made in England’. Unfortunately we can't establish who produced them.

Could it have been the same pottery that helped out with the production
of the unmarked Woody?

It seems fairly logical, as Annabel was the second pig to be issued and presumably Wade would have had to build up stocks for the issue of Annabel to savers just six months after Woody
was given to them when their accounts were opened.
Annabel 'Made in England'Annabel "Made in England"



The NatWest Piggy Bank story started in 1982 when Sunshine Ceramics were commissioned by NatWest to design and manufacture the original set of 5 pigs.
Sunshine Silver Anniversary Group
December 2007 is the 25th anniversary of the original pigs and to mark the occasion a special limited edition set was produced by the Paul Cardew Pottery. Paul modelled the original set of pigs at Sunshine Ceramics and when production was transferred to Wade, he retained the
design rights to the family of pigs.

Paul Cardew has produced a special edition of 2500 Sunshine sets of the family all with silver decoration to ties, bags etc. The sets are hand made and each set has its own limited edition number, back stamp, silver stopper and a certificate of authenticity.

In addition, a brand new member of the family has been introduced and she is included in the
special edition sets. Her name is Beatrice and she is the niece of Hillary and Sir Nathaniel.

Sets are available from the official website


This is a special limited edition of silver detailed NatWest piggy banks with
a production of just 2500. We are most grateful to the Cardew Pottery
for providing the information and photographs.


Sir Nathaniel

Lady Hillary



Copyright © r&m 2001 - 2012