George Wade & Sons was started in the early 1800's and was one of several potteries run by the Wade family, amongst them Wade & Co., Albert J Wade Ltd. and Wade & Son. Various amalgamations took place until 1927 when Wade, Heath & Co. was formed. Over the years several potteries co-existed and in 1958 Wade Potteries and George Wade & Son merged and in 1989 became Wade Ceramics Limited following a management buyout. Over the years the Wade potteries have produced considerable amounts of famous tableware, decorative items and collectables, amongst them many piggy banks. The three below are from a collection called 'Smiling Pig' and were made between 1955 and c.1960. It is not commonly known that these pigs come in two different sizes.
'Smiling Pig': length 15.5 : height 11.5 cms
'Smiling Pig': length 15.5 : height 11.5 cms
Smaller 'Smiling Pig': length 12.5 : height 9.0 cms
  'Paws at the Kerb': length 15.5 : height 11.5 cms The ‘Paws at the Kerb’ piggy bank to the left is one of the rarer Wade pieces and was produced around 1955 and is not often seen offered for sale. The mould is the same as the larger sized ‘Smiling Pig’ and the transfer prints on the pig were taken from a poster, designed by an 11 year old schoolgirl, that won a competition to promote Road Safety in the early 1950s.
'Priscilla':  length 17.0 :  height 11.5 cms
Wade produced another series of piggy banks, called "Priscilla the Pig". They are all from the same mould but she has been produced in a variety of colours and guises, some of which are illustrated in the photographs to either side.
'Priscilla':  length 17.0 :  height 11.5 cms
 The two pink "Priscillas" shown here were produced in limited numbers for the Bristol & West Building Society and Barclays Bank respectively.The Bristol & West pig was produced sometime after mid-1993 and B&W say only 500 were made, but we have seen claims of documents that state 1368 were made. What an odd number!! The Barclays Pricilla was issued in 1998 and 5000 were made.

Two styles of Wade 'Britannia's

The 'Britannia' piggy banks, shown to the left, were made for the Britannia Building Society in another limited production and were based on a promotional hot air balloon called "Piggles".
They were made at two different times, 1999 and 2002 and the models are different in various respects - eyebrows, slot sizes, colour etc. Initially only 1000 of these pigs have been made for presentation to suitable charities and for school raffles etc. The intention is to produce more pigs as and when demand requires it.
New Style 2002:  length 18.5 :  height 14.5 cms

And just to prove that Wade are still committed to their piggy banks, to the left is one of their later additions. Certainly modernistic and quite a change from their more traditional items. He made his first appearance in late 2002 and has to be a boy, as he couldn't possibly be a girl with those looks!
We have already seen one with a building society name on it, which Wade say is a fraud and not made by them - so be warned!

Below are the very latest set of piggy banks, totalling six in number. They are made in pink and blue in small,medium and large sizes. They were introduced early in 2004 are are as traditional as a piggy bank comes.

Small 2004:  length 14.5cms :  height 11.5 cms
Medium 2004:  length 16.0cms :  height 13.0cms
Large 2004:  length 17.0cms :  height 14.0cms
Fake Irish Wade

FAKES - There are not many known fakes of the normal Wade pigs but the red piggy bank shown here is stamped 'Wade Ireland' and is a fake. It's blue twin has no Wade markings. With the Wade NatWest piggy banks it is a different story!

Fake red Irish Wade

'Smiling Pigs': length 15.5 : height 11.5 cms

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