Ceramic Cats after Joan de Bethel, Cinque Ports, Rye (England), Extremely Rare

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  • Two so-called Bethel cats from the English Cinque Ports Pottery
  • After a design by the British artist Joan de Bethel
  • Hand-painted ceramic, approx. 10 cm high
  • One cat is wearing a frilled blouse, the other cat is wearing a sailor suit.
  • Extremely rare collector's items
  • In our opinion the cutest ceramic cats on earth.

This article is one of our UniCats which we have in stock just once. In this special category, you can discover used and unique finds that we spotted at flea markets and marketplaces with detective eagle eyes.


Joan de Bethel was a British artist best known for her characteristic cat figures. In 1960 she started making paper mache cats with her husband David de Bethel at the time. One cat took a full working day, as Joan de Bethel burned each cat by hand and painted it in great detail. Today these specimens are extremely valuable - depending on their condition, they are now traded for up to 1,000 euros.

After the untimely death of her husband, the Rye Pottery made unglazed raw forms out of ceramic for her. She painted the cats and the pottery burned the figures. After that, demand continued to grow, so Joan asked the Cinque Ports Pottery for larger deliveries. Some of the decorators helped out until, with Joan de Bethel's permission, they also made their own figures.

You can find two of these items here. Although they were not painted by Joan de Bethel, they are extremely rare. We collect the cat figurines from Joan de Bethel ourselves and hardly find any offers. They are also very popular among collectors - especially in Great Britain, the USA and Australia.

In Germany, the cat figurines are still almost completely unknown. It was only by chance that we came across the Bethel cats while doing research for Sir Mittens. We would like to give these two hand-painted specimens to cat lovers, whom we can infect with our fascination for these great cat figures.

You can find the whole range of Bethel cats on Pinterest.

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* In rare cases, the delivery for shipments to the EU can take up to four weeks.