Designer Makeig-Jones (1881-1945) created the distinctive range which combined technical developments such as liquid lustre in a variety of colours, with influences from Victorian stories, to create a “playful world of pixies, elves, imps and will-o-the-wisps”.
According to Essex auction house Sworders, in the opening page of a trade booklet titled Wedgwood Fairyland Ware (1921) it said: “The doors of Fairyland are many but hard to find. Some are hidden in hollow trees or caves, others are in wells or lakes, or at the bottom of the sea. It’s possible to get there by climbing up a rainbow, a sunbeam, a moonbeam or by getting a leprechaun to make you a pair of fairy shoes.”
The range comprises up to 60 patterns made until 1931 or available by special order until 1941.
1. Sworders: Fairyland Malfrey pot vase and cover
Sworders is offering an outstanding example at its October 10 sale of 20th Century Decorative Art and Design.
Coming to the market for the first time since it was bought in New Zealand nearly a century ago, a 13in (33cm) high vase and cover, or ‘malfrey pot’ (shape number 2312 and pattern number 24968), will be offered on October 10. Known as Ghostly Wood, it references the drawings of illustrators such as Edmund Dulac, Arthur Rackham and Kay Neilsen. The vase comes with its original receipt, dated January 27, 1926, on headed paper for John Bates & Co, China and Crystal Specialists, Christchurch, New Zealand. It was bought for £31,10s and passed by descent to the current vendor who now lives in the UK. It carries an estimate of £20,000-25,000.
2. and 3. Hannam’s: Fairyland dish and vase
At Hannam’s in Hampshire, a handful of Fairyland Lustre wares are coming to auction on September 3-5.
Among the lots is a 10.5in (27cm) diameter dish with goblins and insects offered with an estimate of £3000-5000.
Another example, guided at £2500-3000, is this vase with pixies and mythical figures beside a rainbow.
4. Hartleys: Fairyland octagonal bowl
Hartleys in Ilkley, West Yorkshire, will offer an 8.5in wide (21.5cm) octagonal bowl on September 5 with an estimate of £1000-1500. Described as ‘Smoke Ribbons’ on a purple lustre ground and the exterior with the ‘Moorish’ pattern, the 1930s bowl has a gilt mark and is inscribed Z 5125/B.
5. Toovey’s: Fairyland tray
A 1920s Lily tray with the Fairy Gondola pattern will be offered at Toovey’s in Washington, West Sussex, on September 6. The 13in (33cm) tray features a band of gilt birds in flight and is estimated at £2800-3000.
6. Morphets: Fairyland vase
Morphets of Harrogate is offering a Flame Fairyland Lustre pillar pattern vase with bronze lustre pillars, red geese and balcony planting of deep green. The 14in (36cm) high vase has a printed mark in gilt and a painted number Z5360 in green. It is estimated as £2500-3500 in the September 6 sale.
The larger varieties of vases and bowls can make more than £10,000. In 2016 a 17in (42cm) high vase (shape 2465) sold for £13,500 at Swan & Turner.