The tale of Alice and her adventures had been invented by the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson to entertain three young sisters as they rowed along the River Isis in Oxford on a summer’s day in 1862. The girls – especially the middle sister, Alice Liddell – were so taken with the tale that they urged him to write it down, and a classic of children’s literature was born, with the author using the pen name Lewis Carroll.
So it is that 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of Alice and all the memorable characters that she meets on her journey through Wonderland: the Mad Hatter and March Hare at their chaotic tea party; the King and Queen of Hearts (‘Off with his head!’); the White Rabbit which Alice follows down the rabbit hole; and of course the mysterious Cheshire Cat with its famous smile that can still be seen even after the cat itself has vanished!
Since that day, generations of children have been enchanted by Alice’s adventures, and the characters that Lewis Carroll created have been a continuing inspiration to artists, film-makers and story-tellers around the world.
Here at Bronte Porcelain, we were struck by how perfectly Alice and the characters she encounters would lend themselves to a collection of fine bone china candle extinguishers, following a long-established tradition in Worcestershire porcelain. So it was that our first collection of characters from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was created. As well as continuing the tradition of candle snuffers, the designer, Frances Wilson, also took inspiration from Japanese netsuke, the beautifully crafted little sculptures which were once part of traditional Japanese dress but have developed into an art form in their own right.
The first collection of characters was such a success that we subsequently added several more to the range, as well as a specially designed display base and even a delightful bone china replica of the book itself. That original book, too, was of course so well received that six years later Lewis Carroll published a sequel, Through the Looking Glass, with its own cast of memorable characters, from the Walrus and the Carpenter to the twins Tweedledum and Tweedledee and the Red Queen. These too have been added to the Bronte candle extinguisher collection, creating a beautiful set of exquisite miniature sculptures which will appeal to collectors of fine bone china as well as to the many fans of Lewis Carroll. All of them are entirely hand-made and hand-painted at our Malvern studios, and are issued in strictly limited editions of 1,250 or 2,500 pieces, and there is also a very special collection of five sculptures that is limited to just 150 sets.
For more information on the Bronte Alice in Wonderland candle extinguisher collections please click here.