Wednesday 23 January 2013

Eileen Soper at play

If you've followed this blog for a while, you will know I collect a myriad of things, including nursery china. A few weeks ago, I featured some Chloe Preston mugs from the Peek-a-Boo series and promised to show you some other pieces from my collection.  The following are from the Playtime series by Eileen Soper.

Eileen Soper is well known as a book illustrator but perhaps not so well known as a designer of nursery ware.

I love this pretty design

A golden crown is for a king. a queen must have one too. A pretty ribbon for my hair, a daisy-chain for you.

Dancing daisies pink and white, are a little girl's delight. Velvet bees who love them too, suck their honey in the dew.

Spotted in a charity shop window priced at just £9 this is my most inexpensive purchase to date. It has a small hairline crack hence the bargain price. 

From the cheapest to the most expensive. This battered box may not look very exciting… 

but when you read the label and the backstamp you will probably understand why I'm so fond of it.

I don’t know who the gift was intended for (I purchased it from eBay), but I would guess it was a member of the royal household or an estate worker.

Paragon backstamp with A Christmas gift from H. M. The Queen December 1938.

I will be featuring more Eilen Soper nurseryware next week.

If you missed the Chloe Preston post you can see it here


  1. Oh wow I love this little girl and the dog, so pretty! What wonderful origins this must have had too. Great find! Hope your year has started well.

  2. barbaraannefisher23 January 2013 at 11:55

    Hi Lindsay, my year has started very well, thank you. I hope you are also enjoying good times! They are sweet aren’t they? She did some different designs, so I will include a few of those next week.

  3. Oh, Barbara, these are wonderful. I love nursery china and still have a few pieces of Peter Rabbit china, but they are nothing as grand as these. I love the cup from the Queen Mum.

  4. barbaraannefisher23 January 2013 at 14:20

    Hi Alex, I don’t have any Peter Rabbit china – but I would love some! Thanks for calling in.

  5. Oh my goodness I love these!

  6. barbaraannefisher23 January 2013 at 15:22

    Thanks Leanne, so do I!

  7. Hi Barbara

    I'll just email you my address and you can send them right over.

    I love, love them. The nicest nursery china I've ever seen and the one you found in a charity shop!! I can't wait to see the rest.

  8. Hello Barbara! You already know me! You took my breath away with this beautiful set!
    The images...the shapes....absolutely lovely!!! and with a very interesting story behind.
    I'm on my summer vacation, that's why I'm not blogging so much.
    I'm waiting for more!
    Besos! Silvina

  9. Aww, These little nursery plates are so cute. Even more appealing to me because of the daisies. In 1938 The Queen would still have been fairly new to her "job". And with two little blond girls of her own it's not hard to guess why she picked this design for the gifts she gave.

  10. barbaraannefisher23 January 2013 at 19:01

    Hi Michelle,
    I did laugh when I read your comment but my immediate reaction was – sorry, no can do.
    When I told Terry about your comment he said, “Send over enough money for the flights, and I will hand deliver them!”
    I guess I love my collections more than he does!

  11. What a beautiful collection you have there, Barbara! Such lovely pieces! I love the cup from the queen, so adorable.

  12. These are adorable! I love the writitng on each one. So sweet and simple in their beauty. I can see why you love the most expensive one! What a piece for your collection! :)

  13. Oh wow!! That is so cool! And they're all beautiful :)

  14. You find the nicest things, Barbara! Of course, these are so dainty and pretty I wouldn't bear to eat off them. Like what Stephanie said, so sweet and simple in their beauty.

  15. barbaraannefisher24 January 2013 at 16:19

    Hello Silvina, I know we like the same things, so I thought you would like these. More next week!
    Have a happy holiday. Barbara.

  16. barbaraannefisher24 January 2013 at 16:25

    Hello Gayle, I think I remember reading somewhere that the designs were based on the (then) Princesses Elizabeth and Margaret. The trouble is I don’t know where I read that and can’t find a reference to it anywhere. I don’t think I dreamt it!
    Thanks for calling and commenting.
    If anyone reading this wonders why daises appeal to Gayle you should visit her very pretty blog called Garden of daisies this is the link

  17. barbaraannefisher24 January 2013 at 16:26

    Thank you Hilde, I love them – glad you like them too. Thanks for calling in.

  18. barbaraannefisher24 January 2013 at 16:32

    Hi Stephanie, thank you! I agree, the little poems are adorable. The expensive one is very special simply because it was a gift from the then Queen but I love the other's too.

  19. barbaraannefisher24 January 2013 at 16:33

    Thanks Joleene, glad you like them.

  20. barbaraannefisher24 January 2013 at 16:37

    Thank you Claudine, pretty things always appeal to me. I don’t think they have ever been used, which is a shame in some ways, but it’s why they remain in such lovely condition.
    I display them in a glass cabinet. They can be seen but are out of harm's way.

  21. They are so lovely! I particularly like the plates with the puppy.

  22. Oh my, what a find. Beautiful pieces with such a memory.

  23. These are really sweet things! Thank you for sharing some of your collection!

  24. The Desert Rocks26 January 2013 at 21:44

    I think we should all eat from nursery china all our lives. It is too cute to hide in that box no matter what it says about the Queen!

  25. barbaraannefisher27 January 2013 at 09:37

    Thanks Sophie. I had a feeling you would like them.

  26. barbaraannefisher27 January 2013 at 09:39

    Hi Donna, a find indeed. Thanks for calling in.

  27. barbaraannefisher27 January 2013 at 09:47

    Hi Diane, I enjoy sharing them. Thanks for calling in and leaving a comment.

  28. barbaraannefisher27 January 2013 at 10:08

    Oh my goodness I don’t think I could bring myself to drink from the Queen mum’s mug, but I could probably eat my cucumber sandwiches from one of the plates! Thanks for making me laugh Eve.

  29. Love the blog, love the history,love all the comments, too...

  30. barbaraannefisher31 January 2013 at 10:19

    Thank you so much Marilyn, your comment made my day!

  31. Wow, that Royal gift is a real prize! The bowl I have has a reddish rim, all the ones I've seen online have a blue rim, except for your Royal one, with yellow. Curious.

  32. I can't believe I missed all these wonderful posts. I am catching up now. Love the china!!

  33. barbaraannefisher26 February 2013 at 08:44

    Nice to have you back Darlene, thanks for taking the time to leave a comment.

  34. barbaraannefisher26 February 2013 at 08:46

    Hello Gillian, thanks for calling in and leaving a comment. I must admit I’ve never taken much notice of the colours of the rims – but I will now. I’m off to have a scout around online to see what I can find. Barbara

  35. Hello, I live in Australia and have been collecting Eileen Soper china, the Playtime series, for quite a few years. I have only found my pieces on eBay. I expect you are my competition. This week a little china beaker arrived that I spotted for $8.00 AUD and it's very pretty....similar to the cups but with no handle. It took 4 months to arrive by sea-mail, so I thought it was lost and was very thrilled when it finally arrived. I have 4 cups and saucers, 2 bowls and 2 large plates. It displays beautifully and is so sweet and nostalgic. It's lovely to find another collector of Eileen Soper china. The book Gifts for Good Children is a very good reference book too.

  36. barbaraannefisher14 March 2013 at 22:35

    Hello Anita,
    Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment. It’s lovely to meet another Eileen Soper collector – even if we are in competition for some of the pieces. Actually, I haven’t bought anything for a while so maybe there is someone else collecting it from eBay as well. Australia is a wonderful hunting ground for children’s books but maybe not so much for nursery china? It tends to turn up in the UK from house clearance and that type of thing, so I do see pieces at charity shops or auctions occasionally.
    I’ve not heard of Gifts for Good Children, but I will be looking for a copy now. Thanks again for calling in I really appreciate it. Barbara


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Barbara xx