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The spirited writer/socialite/artist Fleur Cowles, who died in 2009 at the venerable age of 101, designed several sculptures for Connoisseur of Malvern as well as for several other noted British firms such as Denby and Border Fine Arts.

An American – a Brooklynite, her name was actually Florence Friedman – by birth, she combined her experience as a painter, writer and editor when she launched a short-lived but critically acclaimed magazine called Flair in the 1950s. She originally entered the publishing world via her third marriage, to Gardner Cowles Jr. (pronounced “coals”) whose family owned several newspapers and national magazines. After they divorced she kept his surname even though she subsequently remarried; it was her fourth husband who relocated the family to England and Europe. (A more detailed review of her life can be found here.)

Ms. Cowles adored flowers (especially roses) and her art often combined them with jungle animals, particularly the “big cats”. Shown below are seven of her designs for Connoisseur of Malvern, produced during the early 1990s; at that time Ms. Cowles was in her early- to mid-eighties.


THE ROSE by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur Cowlesbackstamp of The RoseDesigned by Fleur Cowles and sculpted by Diane Lewis, The Rose was a limited edition of 100. (dimensions unknown at present)



BAMBOO ROSE by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur CowlesBamboo Rose was issued in 1991, also a limited edition of 100 and probably sculpted by Diane Lewis also. (dimensions unknown at present)



BAMBOO ROSE CANDLESTICKS by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur CowlesThe Bamboo Rose design was also offered as Bamboo Rose Candlesticks. They are 8” (20 cm) high overall and was probably an open (non-limited) edition.



HIBISCUS WITH TIGER by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur CowlesTurning from roses to tropical flowers, Hibiscus with Tiger was designed by Fleur Cowles but is only marked with the Diane Lewis signature. This was an open edition, 3.5” h and 9” l (approx 9 cm x 23 cm.)



CHEETAH WITH RED POPPY by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur CowlesThe vivid Poppy with Cheetah, another open edition, is 3” h x 7” l (7.5 cm x 17.75 cm)



TULIP WITH CHEETAH by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur CowlesCowles’ Tulip with Cheetah was also an open edition. Its exact dimensions are unknown but it was doubtless similar in size to the Poppy with Cheetah.


ROSE WITH TIGER by Connoisseur of MalvernRose with Tiger view 2Rose with Tiger view 3Thanks to Susan Fox, this beautiful Rose with Tiger can be added to the list of sculptures designed by Fleur Cowles for Connoisseur; it too probably dates from 1990 or 1991. This piece has a fascinating backstory which can be read in this post on Susan’s blog, Gaga’s Garden®. Thanks again for sharing this, Susan! 🙂



TULIP LOVER by Connoisseur of Malvern and Fleur CowlesThis limited issue (edition size unknown) came on a polished black wood base bearing an attached porcelain medallion with the Connoisseur logo. The medallion gives the sculpture name as Tulip Lover (feline with flower). It is 8” high and 26” wide (20 cm x 66 cm.)

Any additional examples of Fleur Cowles designs for Connoisseur will appear in future, as discovered.

More Connoisseur floral studies
Name index of sculptures referenced on this site
About the Connoisseur of Malvern Archive

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