• Lynne

Fairy Ornaments and the Legacy of Cecily Barker



Today, Friends, I'm going to share a very special vintage find with you. I was in Reading, England a few years ago and was excited to attend a traveling exhibit at the Museum of Reading. The exhibit was completely enchanting and I became a firm follower of the books and art of Cecily Mary Barker.


Cecily Barker was born June 28, 1895 and died February 16, 1973. She was best known as an illustrator and writer of her many fairy books.




Each double page in her books display a charming illustration of a specific flower fairy. The one above is the Cornflower fairy. The flowers in all of her illustrations are botanically correct. She wrote an accompanying poem or song for each illustration.




Here are three examples of her books. The large green one is a compilation of several of her books but the format is the same as the smaller books. The one on the left is a book without the dust jacket and the one on the right is complete with its dust jacket.




Here you can see all three books opened to a different Fairy Flower.




When I was in a Thrift Store recently I discovered eight flower fairy ornaments. They are perfect depictions of the illustrations in her books. The one above is the Strawberry Fairy. You can see she matches the illustration exactly and is delicately molded with clear features and beautiful wings. Her hands are extended to carry the basket that is part of the original illustration. The basket was not included as part of the three dimensional fairy.




Here is one of my favorites, the Holly Fairy, with lovely holly berries on the shoes and encircling the waist of this Christmas Fairy. The poses are often active and, of course, all the fairies have wings. These ornaments look absolutely wonderful on the Christmas Tree. I think there were about 180 fairy ornaments made. They are highly collectible and a true treasure.


So, if you are lucky enough to find one of Cecily Barker's books or one of these special Flower Fairy ornaments, tuck it quickly into your basket to bring home to grace your own bookshelves and your own Christmas Tree.


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