Ghostly Wood by Wedgwood's Fairyland Lustre

Happy Halloween!

I wrote about Wedgwood's Fairyland Lustre at the end of August with two posts. During my research for images and history, I discovered this piece owned by The Victoria and Albert Museum, Ghostly Wood. How perfect for Halloween, I thought! And then I realized I would be at the V&A either on Halloween or the day before. Even more perfect! So today, with best wishes for a safe and fun Halloween, I share images and information about the piece while I hope I am having a safe and happy one during my travels. The rest of the information in this post come from the V&A website.


Fairyland lustre jar and lid. Jar has bulbous body, with small neck and close fitting lid. The decoration is inspired by the illustrations of 'The Legend of Croquemitaine' by Gustave Doré, with woods, ghosts, fairies and goblins.

Daisy Makeig-Jones's fascination with fairies, following such illustrators as Arthur Rackham, Edmund Dulac and the Danish artist, Kay Nielsen, proved very popular in the 1920s. Wedgwood have always produced a huge range of styles to capture different market tastes. The cosy drawing room and nursery atmosphere of the decoration of these works, and the monumental forms, contrast sharply with the modernist works being produced at Wedgwood's in the same period.

Targeting the luxury end of the market with these pieces, they represent one of Wedgwood's most extraordinary technical achievements in the ceramic industry. The richly coloured ornament of Fairyland Lustre was extremely popular throughout the 1920s as expensive collector's pieces. But by the 1930s the appeal of lustre was waning and the collapse of the American market had a noticable effect on the demand for ornamental wares. Fairyland was gradually phased out in the 1930s as Keith Murray and Norman Wilson were taken up. Fairyland was considered too expensive and old-fashioned.

[Susan McCormack, 'British Design at Home', p.113]


I'm hoping I will see some of these pieces in person, but one never knows what will actually be on display...

Jar and cover, Fairyland Lustre, 'Ghostly wood', des. Daisy Makeig-Jones, man. Wedgwood, 1916-1932


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