PenDelfin is a company specializing in handcrafted and handpainted stoneware bunnies and figures based in Burnley, Lancashire, England. It had a very large fan-club (the PenDelfin Family Circle, closed in March 2013) which covered Europe, USA, Canada and Australia.

PenDelfin was started in the Pendle Hill area of Burnley. This area of England is where Jean Walmsley Heap (1921-2008) and Jeanie Todd (??-1974) first met at an exhibition of the Burnley Artist's Society. They were the founders of PenDelfin, the renowned rabbit family, born in the shadow of the legendary "Witches Hill" Pendle whose folk lore first inspired them. Jean and Jeanie became very close friends and in 1953 their combined talents resulted in the creation of the very first Pendelfin, a deep relief wall plaque. Their first PenDelfin rabbits were created as a hobby in Jeannie's garden hut, to produce gifts for their friends and family. Their enthusiasm had been fire and soon their hobby had grown into a full time vocation.

pendelfin rabbits

They each contributed a share in the "capital" (about five pounds) and would never then have believed that they had produced a line of Pendelfin collectible figurines that would be sought after worldwide. What once started as a hobby for making presents for family and friends, quickly gained worldwide fame. PenDelfin got the name from a famous hill near Burnley called Pendle Hill, which is famous for tales of witches and ghouls. As a result the first model produced by the company was named the 'Pendle Witch' and is created in a small wooden hut in the back garden of Jeannie Todd's house.

PenDelfin models are made in durable stone-based compound, an excellent medium for reproducing their superbly detailed modelling. They are hand painted in the finest quality artist's colours, changeless and fadeless in all normal temperatures.

Pendelfin bunnies

Each rabbit figure is produced entirely by hand and is the work of skilled craftsmen. The painting by special trained artists is only one of the many processes needed to produce the perfect PenDelfin model.

It is a gradual process of shading, tinting, and highlighting, colour painting and decorating, before a final coat of varnish can be added and they can be boxed in their familiar turquoise and black boxes and distributed all over the world.

All the bunnies (designed by Heap and Roberts) were developed with specially thought out history and characters in mind, including a mother, father, youngsters, aunts, uncles and many others, especially those who were particularly musically oriented. The figurines also inspired bookends, as well as a whole village as a backdrop for displaying them. A particularly popular character created by Heap was called 'Little Thrifty', who first emerged in the Children's Corner of the Burnley Building Society and became a center of many stories meant to inspire children to save their money.

Pendelfin valuation

I recommend buying one of the collectors guides on Pendelfin figures on Amazon:

List

Below is the first ten years of Pendelfin production, from 1953 to 1963. Most are worth a considerable amount of money, hence these are probably the most collectable of Pendelfin items today.

TypeNameSizeIntroduced
Wall plaqueThe Pendle Witch20.4cm1953 - 1957
FigureTipsy Witch11cm1953 - 1959
OrnamentalCauldron Witch11cm1953 - 1959
Wall plaquePixie House20.4cm1953 - 1958
Wall plaqueOld Meg Plaque20cm1953 - 1954
Wall PlaqueThe fairy Shop (3D Picture)40x20cm1954 - 1958
LampRheingold LampUnknown1954 - 1958
OrnamentalFairy Jardinière13cm1954 - 1958
OrnamentalDragon Ring Candle Holders10cm dia1954 - 1958
Rabbit FamilyFather Rabbit - Dungaree20cm1955 - 1960
FigureOld Adam12.5cm1955 - 1956
FigureDesmond Duck11cm1955 - 1958
FigureDaisy Duck11cm1955 - 1958
FigureBobbin Woman - only 2 made11.5cm1955 - 1958
Miniature AHerald wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AScrooge wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AWitch wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature APhynnodderee wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AFlying Witch wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AThe Bellman wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AElf wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AToper wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature ABalloon Woman wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Miniature AStanding Witch wall figure7.5cm1955 - 1956
Wall plaqueShaggy Dog12.5cm1955 - 1958
Rabbit FamilyMother Rabbit - 4 versions20cm1956 - 1978
Wall plaqueManx Kitten9cm1956 - 1958
Miniature BTom the Pipers Son11.5cm1956 - 1959
Miniature BMiss Muffet11.5cm1956 - 1959
Miniature BLittle Bo Peep11.5cm1956 - 1959
Miniature BMary Mary Quite Contrary11.5cm1956 - 1959
Miniature BWee Willie Winkie11.5cm1956 - 1959
Miniature BLittle Jack Horner11.5cm1956 - 1959
Rabbit FamilyRobert11.5cm1956 - 1967
Rabbit FamilyMidge (1,2 or 3 crumbs)7.5cm1956 - 1965
Rabbit FamilyMargot9cm1956 - 1967
FigureTammy Puppy7.5cm1957 - 1987
Wall FigureRomeo and Juliet20cm1957 - 1959
OrnamentalRabbit book-ends11.5cm1958 - 1965
Rabbit FamilySnuggles9cm1958 -  
Rabbit FamilyWakey9cm1958 - 2003
Rabbit FamilyCha Cha7.5cm1959 - 1961
Rabbit FamilyUncle Soames20cm1959 - 1985
Rabbit FamilyRocky12.5cm1959 - 1978
Rabbit FamilyFather Rabbit - Kipper tie20cm1960 - 1970
AccessoriesModel stand - Rabbit24cm1960 - 1967
AccessoriesModel stand - Pendelfin24cm1960 - 1967
Rabbit FamilyLucy Pocket10cm1960 - 1967
Rabbit FamilyGussie7.5cm1960 - 1968
Rabbit FamilyShiner10cm1960 - 1967
Rabbit FamilyMegan the Harp10cm1960 - 1967
Rabbit FamilySqueezy8cm1960 - 1967
FigureDog with Scarf + Beret11cm1960 - 1962
AccessoriesGrandstand35cm1961 - 1969
Mouse FamilyMother Mouse (grey/brown)11cm1961 - 1966
Mouse FamilyFather Mouse (grey/brown)11cm1961 - 1966
Mouse FamilyLollipop Mouse (grey/brown)11cm1961 - 1966
FigureCornish Prayer10cm1962 - 1965
Rabbit FamilyTwins10cm1962 - 2003
FigurePooch9cm1962 - 1987
Rabbit FamilyAunt Agatha20cm1963 - 1965
FigureCyril the Squirrel17.5 cm1963 - 1965

Updated: 15 Sept. 2017

Pendelfin value

What's it worth? Take a look at this Pendelfin price guide: sold listings for a value indication.

Pendelfin forum (6 comments)

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Susan Zobre - October 15, 2014

I have been collected Pendelfin rabbits for about 40 years. I used to get $10.00 from my Oma for my Birthday and I would go to the local Hallmark store and buy a rabbit. I have well over 100 and wish I could have more.
►reply: Nice collection Susan! Hope you'll have more in the future :-)

Kenneth - June 19, 2014

Does anyone know the value of a Pendelfin witch figure Aprox 1952-53
►reply: Try looking for Pendelfin witch on this website.

Manisha Patel - December 2, 2010

i have got alot of pendelfin rabbit collection and i want to sell them for cash please can you tell me how i can do this.
►reply: You can try and sell them on eBay or through auctioneers in your area.

Peggy - November 27, 2010

Hi, i am looking for lucky who has a broken leg do you have it and what are you asking for it?
►reply: Unfortunately I haven't got one for sale... but if you search on this site for: Pendelfin Lucky you might find one.

Michelle Thompson - November 8, 2010

I have a huge collection of Pendelfin in like new condition, is there a website where I can get the approximate value?

Ken - September 9, 2010

Have approximately 15 pieces of Pendelfin in like new condition. Is there a web site that can give me an approximate value.