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Fairyland lustre leap-frogging elves chalice cup - 1920

Fairyland leapfrogging elves, ©  Wedgwood Museum
    Fairyland leapfrogging elves
    © Wedgwood Museum

Bone china chalice-shaped vase; pattern Z5360 'Leapfrogging Elves'.

In 1916, Susannah Margeretta ‘Daisy’ Makeig-Jones, introduced an extensive range of some of the most extraordinary ware ever produced by Wedgwood. It was called Fairyland lustre and adorned a large number of shapes, some of which were made especially for the purpose. Daisy’s fairies came from many cultural backgrounds and the articles they decorate often tell complex tales. Here, on the chalice cup, we simply see elves against a sunset sky enjoying a game of leapfrog. However, the simple antics of the fairies belie the technical expertise needed to make each piece of Fairyland lustre – some of which needed as many as six firings. Daisy’s Fairyland remained popular until well into the 1920s when the Wall Street crash and a change in taste saw that it was gradually discontinued. According to factory history, Daisy was asked to leave in 1930 but flatly refused to do so. She felt like a member of the family. Not long afterwards, she herself decided to leave, making the dramatic gesture of smashing her pots as she went.

  • Type of object: Ornamental ware/chalice cup
  • Mark: Portland Vase
    WEDGWOOD
    ENGLAND
    Z 5360
    [All printed in gold]
  • Year produced: 1920
  • Body: Bone china
  • Material: ceramic
  • Decoration: lustre
  • Accession number: 9898
  • Dimensions: 170 mm (height), 201 mm (diameter)

Related people

  • 'Daisy' Makeig-Jones Designer

    'Daisy' Makeig-Jones - Designer (1880 - 1944)

    Susannah Margaretta "Daisy" Makeig-Jones was a pottery designer for Wedgwood. She is best known for her range of "Fairyland Lustre" pottery.The daughter of a doctor, she was born in Rotherham. After her family moved to Torquay she entered the Torquay School of Art. She joined Wedgwood in 1909, after gaining an introduction to the managing director Cecil Wedgwood through a relative. Both of Cecil's daughters married brothers of hers. According to factory history, Daisy was asked to leave Wedgwood in 1930. She refused to go, maintaining she was part of the family. She left of her own accord not long afterwards making the dramatic gesture of smashing her pots as she went!

Glossary

  • Fairyland Lustre

    Fairyland Lustre

    Fairyland Lustre, considered one of Wedgwood's best known ceramic ranges, was the project of one designer - Daisy Makeig-Jones - in the 1920's. Although the fashion at the time was for Art Deco and geometric patterns, Fairyland Lustre became very popular as it caught the imagination of a public  jaded by the First World War.

    It's success stemmed from using ancient techniques of mixing gold, silver and copper metallic oxide pigments in oil and painting them on to pottery. When fired the metal melted into a thin lustrous reflective film which gave an indescent effect.The complexity of the process and raw material costs gave an 'expensive' air to the products thus produced.Fairyland Lustre was, nevertheless, considered a commercial success for Wedgwood.

    Fairyland Lustre went out of production when Daisy Makeig-Jones left Wedgwood in 1931. Considered very influential at the time Fairyland Lustre is still greatly sought after today.