Men Fri

So here is the unattributed painting, date unknown and the only clue, or red herring, is that on the back it says Murrey, but this could be the name of the previous owner. It seems to our admittedly amateur eyes to have a look of Meninsky, especially in the legs, the colours and the composition. Another clue is that Meninsky’s wife’s father was a policeman and might have been the model for this one. The biography by John Russell Taylor tells us that during WW2 (because this painting could be WW1 or WW2) Meninsky was living in Oxford and  painted two pictures of Red Cross workers packing food parcels for prisoners of war. Also there is an echo of one of his favourite themes – mother and child. What do people think?

Meninsky, Bernard, 1891-1950; Sketch of Soldiers Arriving on Leave

Soldiers arriving on Leave is a sketch and it is undated: but presumably it’s also late 1918. Tomorrow, finally, the painting which needs an attribution will be on the Post and comments will be gratefully received..

(c) Mrs Nora West/Bridgeman; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

And The Arrival of a Leave Train,Victoria was again painted by Meninsky in September/October 1918.

on the departure platform 1918

In March 1918 the British War Memorial Committee was set up to commission art on particular war subjects from suitable artists. Meninsky was employed in September at the suggestion of Sickert. He was asked to go to Victoria Station and paint a picture or pictures “representing typical London scenes, during and after the arrival of a leave train from the front.”  On the Departure Platform is also at the Imperial War Museum.

Meninsky, Bernard, 1891-1950; Victoria Station, District Railway

This week on the Post we are asking for help. We bought a painting (which is sometimes in the shop window) from Paul Liss a few years ago. No one knows  who painted it. But someone has suggested Bernard Meninsky and this seems a very plausible idea. So from Monday-Thursday this week we are having four paintings by Meninsky and then on Friday we shall have the anonymous painting. And we would love to know what Persephone readers think. Or, indeed, someone may have another suggestion as to the painter. First of all: Victoria Station District Railway 1918, it’s at the Imperial War Museum and is such an amazing painting, up there with Flora Lion’s painting of a works canteen (on the Persephone Post in April).


One or two of Laura Knight’s ‘Circus’ plates are sometimes on show in the shop window. The circus  teapot is something else! It’s hard to imagine  the people who bought the beautiful circus plates actually using the teapot without giggling. But perhaps that was the whole point.


This teapot, date unknown, is the most extraordinary pink. We use it in the shop and always exclaim in amazement at the pinkness of the pink.



We sometimes have the Nicholas Mosse ‘Old Rose; teapot for sale and can easily order it; but we always have the bowls (all sizes) and the mugs in the same pattern (along with Annabel Munn’s handmade mugs, the Brixton pottery ‘Blue Diamond’ mugs and Emma Bridgewater’s ‘Pomegranate’ mugs that she designed for our 100th book).


Susie Cooper (whose coffee cups we have in the shop window at the moment in a ‘boxed set’) designed this teapot in 1938: fascinating that one can tell the date just by the colours.

Leeds teapot 18800-20 V and A

Teapots this week, partly because having tea out of a teapot is so soothing and Forsterian and indeed Whipple-ish, and English in a good way, and partly to celebrate The Decorative Arts Society which Persephone Books has admired for years and has now officially joined. This is a Leeds teapot at the V and A (in the marvellous ceramics gallery at the top of the building), it’s apparently 1800-1820 but looks more 1930.

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