30 December 2016

Fedden, Mary, 1915-2012; Fruit at Christmas

Fruit at Christmas is by Mary Fedden and is at the Whitworth. The next Persephone Post will be on Tuesday January 3rd (we are closed on Monday 2nd). Happy New Year to everyone!

29 December 2016

Symons, Mark Lancelot, 1887-1935; The Day after Christmas

The Day after Christmas is by Mark Symons (1887-1935). Obviously this should have been on the Post three days ago! But we try to tailor the Post to the days the shop is open – which today it is, and tomorrow and Saturday. And it’s the kind of mood which still continues.

23 December 2016


Merry Christmas is by the Danish painter Viggo Johansen (1851-1935) who was best known during the 1890s. This was painted in 1881. Merry Christmas to all Persephone readers!

22 December 2016

rav chmas pudding 1938 v and a

This plate by Eric Ravilious is ‘Christmas Pudding’ pattern and it’s 1938: we have never seen an actual piece, but it will be somewhere on the top floor at the V and A. Someone came in to the shop and asked for Tirzah Ravilious’s book but we firmly said, do you mean Tirzah Garwood – and if we have anything to do with it that is how she will be known forever, as a superb artist and writer in her own right.

21 December 2016

Christmas-Tree-1911 albert tayler

Christmas Tree (1911) is by Albert Chevallier Tayler, details about his life here.

20 December 2016

Budgett, Beatrice Helen, 1870-1944; Christmas Roses

Beatrice Helen Budgett lived from 1870-1944, her Christmas Roses is at Bristol Art Gallery, does anyone know anything about her life and career? She was evidently a stunning painter.

19 December 2016


(c) Margaret Thomas; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Christmas Table by Margaret Thomas (1916-2016): very like one of the tables in the shop at the moment.  ‘In Margaret Thomas’s work, as in her life, there was a down-to-earth poetry and a complete rejection of all pretentiousness. Her key influences were Braque and Philip Wilson Steer and the creative tension produced between these two giants led to what she termed as “a long tug-o-war” in her studio. The happy result was a flow of evocative pictures, underpinned by robust draughtsmanship and deft, almost abstract design. Working solely in oils, and always indoors, Margaret Thomas painted commonplace subjects (flowers, interiors, water-dominated landscapes) which were rendered extraordinary by her singular vision. Somehow she never repeated herself, but always found a fresh angle and a new light. Returning most frequently to the motif of a dying flower, she draws endless inspiration from these spiky, spectral and sculptural presences. “Fading, dried, left to themselves, flowers begin to die from the beginning. When picked they must be left alone to fulfil their destinies, to orientate to the light, to sort out their relative strengths, to stabilise and to mature. They cannot be arranged. All this I seek to show in my paintings.” But rather than appearing elegiac, each Thomas flower piece attests to the strength and the beauty of nature’ (New English Art Club).

16 December 2016


A 1955 Cepea fabric at MODA. (The Winds of Heaven is 1955 and this would have been rather suitable, although is in some ways not so dissimilar from the fabric we did use, here.) Cepea  was at St. James’s Buildings, Oxford Street, Manchester, it was: ‘a Manufacturer of Cotton, Rayon and Linen Piece Goods for Dress, Lingerie, Shirtings and Furnishings. Also of Handkerchiefs for all Markets.’  There are about fifty other MODA fabrics online here,with details of access to the collection here.

  • 15 December 2016

    MoDA Image

    Another 1934 fabric, this one designed by Edwin Parker. This would have been appropriate for most of our 1934 books  – but not for Harriet or A London Child of the 1870s.

    14 December 2016



    John Churton designed this for the Silver Studio in 1934, it was a textile but would also have made a beautiful rug. The ‘Titles by Publication Date’ list on our website reveals that we have six novels published in 1934: The Country Housewife’s Book  by Lucy H Yates, Miss Buncle’s Book  by DE Stevenson, Dinners for Beginners  by Rachel & Margaret Ryan, Harriet by Elizabeth Jenkins, They Knew Mr Knight by Dorothy Whipple and A London Child of the 1870s by Molly Hughes, but actually this very bold, modernist fabric would not have been right for any of them – except possibly for They Knew Mr Knight but even then one could not imagine Celia choosing it.