In May of 2013, we found a delightful little figurine in the Ontario Antique Mall at Farmington, NY. It was a cat standing erect, dressed in a colourful gypsy outfit complete with neckerchief and holding a tambourine with two paws in front. One description which I found of this figure online spoke of him holding a cap, but caps do not usually have gold coloured jingles through the brim. No, clearly, it represents a gypsy with his tambourine. But a strange figure, nevertheless, to my eyes. Clearly this was a cat with feline facial features and a long droopy tail, but it stood so terribly erect - almost at attention - with a plump torso that would have been better suited to a retired army colonel. A charming piece for our growing collection.
Online, I also discovered that UK International Ceramics commissioned Wade Ceramics to fashion a number of items for the Wade Trentham Fair between 1999 and 2001.
Two of the pieces produced for the 2001 fair were the Gypsy Catkins and the Clown Catkins. Both of these pieces were limited to a run of 1000, but some of these limited numbers were also produced as a special colourway, using different colours from the original figures and carrying their own certificate of authenticity.
There were 9 Gypsy and 9 Clown sub-sets of 45 each in in this limited number, and all of these were then sold in 2001 for 45 pounds apiece plus packing and postage. From the poster used to advertise the availability of this special colourway series, it would appear that our Gypsy Catkins is Ref. 1 in the top left corner of the poster. Our Certificate of Authenticity indicates that we have figure no. 36 out of the run of 45.