Charles and Nell VYSE

View in collection Charles Vyse served an apprenticeship as a modeller and designer at Doulton's, 1896, and later studied at Hanley Art School and sculpture at the Royal College of Art, 1905-10. He worked first as a portrait and figurative sculptor before setting up a pottery studio in 1919 in Cheyne Walk, Chelsea, with his wife Nell who was especially knowledgeable about glaze chemistry. They produced colourfully decorated figures many of London characters, such as the' Balloon Girl' and 'Barnet Fair'. After 1923 they experimented with high-fired wares and revived Chinese glaze techniques particularly chun and tenmoku glazes. During the 1930s they also produced contemporary designs with geometric patterns and calligraphy. Throughout that decade they sold mainly through Walker's Gallery in Bond Street where they had an annual exhibition every November. Around 1940 the couple separated and Nell Vyse gave up ceramics. After the studio was damaged in the Blitz in 1940 Charles Vyse taught at Farnham School of Art. He later worked with a former student, Barbara Waller, before retiring to Deal, Kent, in 1963. Note: Twenty one of the pots in the collection appear to be from a batch of pots bought directly from Charles Vyse in 1927. Many are unsigned although a number have various marks. These may well be early experiments with glazes and kiln temperatures. The maximum price for any one piece was one guinea, some costing as little as 2s.6d.


  • Dates: Charles (1882-1971): Nell (1892-1967)