This seventh look at the flower studies by Connoisseur includes 14 new additions to the Archive database. Ten of them are limited editions and one piece is one of a kind.
Meadowlands is 6” (15.25 cm) high and was an edition of 100. Unfortunately, the backstamp on this piece does not include an issue year.
Autumn Melody, by Diane Lewis, was an issue of 100 in 1987. It is 12” (30.5 cm) high.
Fall colors are also seen in the Autumn Cornucopia basket. The dimensions and edition details of this piece are unknown at present.
Honeymoon, by Aileen Burton, is 8” (20.3 cm) high. It was an edition of 100 in 1991 and is one of three known honeysuckle studies by Connoisseur. The other two can be seen in Flowers, Part Three.
The Lady Love Orchid, an edition of 100 in 1991, was designed by Wendy Green. It is 14” h x 7” w x 6” d (35.5 cm x 17.8 cm x 15.25 cm).
The first time I saw a photo of Orchid and Grapes, it was an online listing some years ago that had no photo of the backstamp and no issue details; the unusually intense coloring made me suspicious that it might be a non-original-studio piece and so I did not include it in the Archive. However, this example did include a backstamp photo which verified that this is indeed a Lewis-studio design, by Diane Lewis and was painted by Tracy Arrowsmith to boot. It is 15” (38 cm) high and has a 9” (23 cm) footprint. The orchid flowers are dendrobiums.
Exotic blooms are featured in Oriental Pride which is also a Diane Lewis design. It was an edition of 50 but the issue year was not contained in the backstamp. Height is about 14.5” (37 cm) and 5.75” (14.5 cm) at the widest point.
The evocative Potomac Memoir study of cherry blossoms is an edition of 50 designed by Diane Lewis. It is 7” (17.8 cm) high and as wide. Issue year is not known.
Magnolia soulangeana is one of the hardier members of the magnolia tribe, here portrayed in 1987 by Aileen Burton in an edition of 100. Dimensions are not known.
A Moment in Time uses the same mold seen in Finches in Unison with a few cosmetic tweaks; a smooth-surfaced birdbath has been modified into a stone sundial (or vice versa):
No backstamp photo is available for “Moment”, so I do not know the issue year and edition size; however, the piece itself is probably the same size as Finches in Unison which is about 22” high. The finch study was issued in 1983 and so the question now becomes “which came first?”
I was sent this photo of a sadly, and badly, damaged Springtime Harvest basket by the art gallery currently tasked with restoring it. They were hoping that I might have a photo of a mint-condition one to guide their work; unfortunately I do not, but if anyone does happen to have such a photo, please contact me via the About the Archive page. Many of the individual floral pieces have become detached, even when undamaged, and so it will be a challenge to determine what might originally have gone where. Because I had no record of this piece on hand, I asked for a photo as a placeholder and to acknowledge that this (undoubtedly limited edition, as were all Connoisseur’s baskets) lovely piece was produced. Many thanks to the Avery Gallery of Marietta, GA, for sharing the photo.
The next three sculptures were all open (non-limited) editions.
This dainty yellow Carnation designed by Aileen Burton is probably from the mid-1980s; the auctioneer did not respond to my request for a photo of the backstamp or other information.
This unusual small Cherry Blossom was reportedly (though not confirmed by any studio sources) part of a series that was created in a low profile for use with table settings. It is only about 2.5” high (6.3 cm) and is not the same piece as the 4.5” (11.4 cm) high Cherry Blossom issued in 1983 and shown in Flowers, Part Six. It is possible that this one was exclusive to a certain retailer….perhaps Brielle Galleries to whom Connoisseur did give exclusive sales rights to some pieces. It should be noted that the piece shown above has the tip broken off one petal, and that a flower stem had been broken and glued back on.
The level of detail shown in the Saguaro Cactus surprises one to discover that it was not a limited edition. That center section was created and assembled entirely by hand, and my goodness, those spines! This is a relatively small piece at 4” high and 6” wide (10 cm x 15.25 cm) that has a big impact. Designed by Diane Lewis, it was introduced in 1988. Many thanks to the helpful Archive reader who sent me three of the above four photos! I had come across the Dumouchelles photo some years ago but due to the lack of information accompanying it I had no way of knowing whether this was an original-studio piece.
Now we come to a unique OOAK (one of a kind) piece which is the Prof. C.S. Sargent camellia. It is 5.5” high, 10.5” long, and 6.5 deep (14 cm x 26.5 x 16.5 cm). Designed and created by Diane Lewis in 1984, it was autographed by her in May 1985. What is the story behind this piece?
Charles Sprague Sargent was a botanist who taught at Harvard University during the 1800s. When the college established its famed Arnold Arboretum in 1872, he was appointed its Director – a position he held for 55 years, until his death in 1927 at the age of 86.
Interestingly, Sargent is not known for camellias at all; he is famous for his research and publications about trees and forestry. And so it is possible – in fact, very likely – that the Connoisseur piece was commissioned or created for the commemoration of the restoration of the Forest Hills Gate at the Arboretum, that indeed took place in May 1985.
There actually is a Camellia japonica cultivar with this name, registered with the American Camellia Society in honor of Professor Sargent in 1925. It is a stalwart, vigorous evergreen shrub that can flower in winter or early spring, depending on one’s location.
Images of Connoisseur of Malvern porcelain sculptures herein are provided for informational and educational purposes only, not for reproduction, resale or advertising. All photographs are copyrighted by their owner as indicated via watermark. Photographs with a Connoisseur watermark originally appeared within their copyrighted publications and appear here via the kind permission of Connoisseur of Malvern, Ltd.