The book was Griselds Lewis's A Collectors History of English Pottery, 2nd edition. On the cover was the most beautiful pair of dandies. I was smitten! Now I knew exactly what I wanted to buy.
My first bocage figure was purchased on my next trip to England, and it was a pair of dandies. Over the years, I acquired several more pairs. Finally, almost 20 years after I had bought Griselda Lewis's book, I bought the dandies on the cover. This amazing pair of dandies came up at a small auction in a remote location. The receipt simply described my purchase as "china".
Griselda Lewis subsequently told me that this pair of dandies belonged to her old friend, John Hadfield. He wrote several books, the most famous being A Book of Beauty, and he also edited an annual publication called The Saturday Book. After his death, a family member inherited the dandies and put them at auction.
Of course, my search for wonderful dandies continues---and I put a stunning pair on the cover of my book. But this pair will always have a special place in my collection and heart. The Yiddish word beshert means destined: it was meant to be. Almost, but not quite, like the French que sera sera. For me, this dandy group was beshert.
Couple of other things to share:
- John Howard has just added two pairs of Ralph Wood enamel figures to his stock. Both are lovely and are true pairs. One has impressed mold numbers.
- The 2011 American Ceramics Circle Journal, to be in members' mailboxes shortly, has a detailed article about figures made by Walton. I wrote the article. What prompted this? Weariness at seeing everything with a bocage attributed to Walton! You can also find all you need to know under the MAKERS/Walton menu on this site, but the ACC did a beautiful job of presenting my material with a full color index of known Walton models.