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.
Turning 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.)
Thanks 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! 🙂
This 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.
Images of ©Connoisseur of Malvern porcelain sculptures are provided for informational and educational purposes only, not for reproduction, resale or advertising. All photographs are copyrighted by their owner (if known) as indicated via watermark.