Eva Lilian Soper 1901-1990

As the elder daughter and lesser known of the Soper sisters, Eva is known for her gifts in modelling and cast making, although she was also a talented printer and painter.

Eva’s Birds

Eva’s bone china bird figurines were her most popular works, commissioned by the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company (RWPC). These extraordinary models were created to exact life measurements and in proportion to each other, which is an astonishing feat. She created an initial four birds in 1937, the robin, blue tit, wren and wood warbler. She continued to produce a further 20 British birds over a number of years. The precision, detail and beauty of her models saw them remain in production until 1986.

Each bird was hand cast from several different pieces, each requiring meticulous precision. The colouring shows extraordinary attention to detail, highlighting the subtle shadings and variations that exist in nature.

No doubt the Sopers’ bird sanctuary, established in the garden of their family home, ‘Wildings’, was the location and inspiration for this detailed study. In fact, a large part of the garden remains a bird sanctuary today, a place of safety and refuge managed by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, but not to be visited by the public. It was left solely for the birds and animals in perpetuity.

The Soper Collection is proud to have a complete set of both the gloss and matt RWPC birds for display, as well as Eva’s potter’s wheel.

The worker at Wildings

Eva’s talents were also demonstrated in her work behind the scenes at ‘Wildings’. She printed many of George and Eileen’s works, as well as showing talent as a painter in her own right. Her paintings featured in postcards for the Medici Society, some of which are also contained in The Soper Collection.

Eva was also principally responsible for maintaining ‘Wildings’ and the extensive gardens. She took great pleasure in cultivating her irises and in maintaining the wildlife sanctuary.

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