Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre ImitationsBy

Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre Imitation

A new biscuit jar has been found loosely imitating the iridescent glazed fantasy designs introduced by Wedgwood in 1915 as Fairyland Lustre. Its characteristic fairy themes painted in bright colors outlined in gold was developed by Wedgwood artist Daisy Makeig-Jones. Original vintage Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre was produced from 1915 through 1932.

The new jar features a winged fairy comforting a human child. A pearl-like iridescent glaze covers the entire jar. Original Wedgwood line, which apparently inspired this new jar, was also copied extensively by Wedgwood competitors in the early 20th century.

With the exception of some earthenware plaques and juvenile breakfast pieces, virtually all original Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre was painted on bone china blanks. Almost all bone china pieces are marked with the Portland vase outline stamped over the glaze in gold (Fig. 4). Some authentic earthenware pieces may have impressed marks.

The new jar isn't bone china but a very thick heavy pottery. Although it's made in China, its fantasy mark suggests it was made in England with such words as "Braithwaites" and "Cumbria." The new mark also includes "Fairy Lustre Ware"(Fig. 3). Original Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre is hand painted. Decorations on the new jar are applied as transfers (decals).

The metal hardware on the imitation is crudely cast in heavy pot metal with no plating. Poorly soldered joints are obvious (Fig. 5). Typical pre-1930 biscuit jar hardware in England had nickel plated brass or silver plated white metal. Vintage hardware was carefully made with virtually no obvious sign of soldering or tool marks. No biscuit jar appears in Wedgwood's list of the 72 shapes most frequently decorated with pre-1932 Fairyland Lustre and no authentic jars have yet been found.

Fairyland Lustre was widely copied before 1930. You need to be alert for those impostors as well. Be particularly alert for fake Wedgwood marks applied to pre-1930 lustre ware by other makers.

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Fig. 1 New 6-inch square biscuit jar with iridescent lustre glaze. Fairy decoration applied as a transfer, not hand painted.

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Fig. 2 Close-up of original handpainted detail in original Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre. Entire design is outlined in gold.

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Fig. 3 The new jar in Fig. 1 is made in China but the blue mark under glaze on its base implies it was made in England. The mark is "Braithwaites, Fairy Lustre Ware, Cumbria." Mark appears blurred due to glaze.

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Fig. 4 Almost all original bone china Wedgwood Fairyland Luster has the Portland vase outline mark in gold.

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Fig. 5 The new lid and handle are very heavy cast metal left unplated. This close-up shows how the handle hinge is crudely soldered to the metal rim on top of the jar.