Wedgwood Lustre Article

In a nutshell

Fairyland lustre is a range of bone china shapes and patterns manufactured by Wedgwood from 1915 to 1930, designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones, highly decorated and fantastical.

Why is it so appealing?

Rich in detail and imagination, beautiful colours and gilding, appealing in form, Fairyland lustre makes stunning décor. Whether used as a single highlight or in groups, it impacts any room setting with a sense of style, taste and appreciation of art and the continuity between past and present.

The variety of shapes and patterns make certain combinations exceptionally rare and attractive, and the detail and fineness of decoration makes close up examination a journey of discovery and mounting delight.

For some the story of Daisy’s personality has its own appeal: an eccentric, employed to bring fresh imaginative design to a market heavy with World War I and its aftermath, she was initially appreciated and commercial but later forced to retire in 1931.

Manufacture

Daisy’s designs were complex to manufacture requiring up to six firings for some patterns. Decoration was applied in stages by a team of girls and women painters. Fabulous new lustre glazes were only just past the experimental stages. Wastage was high and with frequent variations in design and finally with sales hit by the Great Depression, Fairyland Lustre production became non-viable.

Marks

The distinctive Portland Vase mark and the words 'WEDGWOOD' and 'MADE IN ENGLAND' are to be found on every piece usually accompanied by a pattern number commencing with 'Z'.

Occasionally her monogram can be found hidden within the decoration

Value

Value is highest for:

  • Rare pattern/form combinations
  • Pieces with great provenance
  • Examples in mint condition
  • Patterns of particularly whimsical appeal
  • Items of exceptional quality of workmanship

 

Restoration

Restoration is important as it seriously affects value. When buying, always ask. A seller who is not sure either does not know or will not tell. A ‘good ring’ is a good indication but in no way a guarantee. Minor rubbing to the gilt and some light scratching does not affect value but a restored chip or hairline certainly will.