Sunday, November 3, 2013

The Home Beautiful: A Fairyland Lustre Vase, 1920-41

Fairyland Lustre Vase
The Victoria  & Albert Museum

Made in Etruria, England, between 1920 and 1941, this vase belongs to the genre called “Fairyland Lustre.”  

Daisy Makeig-Jones's, the artist responsible for this vase as well as the majority of the fairyland pieces, long had a fascination with fairies, and was a fan of the work of such illustrators as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and the Danish artist, Kay Nielsen—all of whom were very popular in the 1920s. Makeig-Jones worked for Wedgwood who famously always produced a huge range of styles to capture different market tastes.  She was encouraged to produce a line of fairytale-themed pieces.  This was the result.

These pieces were targeted to the luxury end of the market and they represent one of Wedgwood's most extraordinary technical achievements in the ceramic industry. The Fairyland Lustre line proved extremely popular throughout the 1920s as expensive collector's pieces.

This Fairyland lustre vase is tall and slim and narrows at shoulders, slightly flaring at neck, and is a perfect example of the species. According to the V&A, “The decoration is based on two Japanese myths. Kuan Yin, a Buddhist deity, poured water of creation over the earth - it fell in a series of bubbles and within each was a baby. The other concerning a Goddess who aided villagers terrorized by a dragon fond of eating children's flesh. Bubbles, fairies, city and figure riding on a boat/bird are depicted.”

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