MUDLEN END STUDIO COLLECTION

Introduction

This section of the web site catalogues my collection of Mudlen End Studio pottery.

I have divided the Mudlen End Studio collection into the following categories, which are used on this page:

Numbered Series This category corresponds to the series of Mudlen End Studio cottages, which are numbered from 1 to 44. Generally, each model carries the number on the underside. These models appear in Mudlen End catalogues listed by number.
Early models carry the Mudlen End Studio backstamp, while later models carry the Country Cottages backstamp. There are a number of variations.
Named Models (Not Numbered) This category covers models that are named but carry no number. Some may have been produced for special events or celebrations, others possibly for sale at the named venues.
Large Models (Hotels etc.) A number of larger models were also produced, which were also likely to have been produced for special occasions and perhaps as special orders, some in limited numbers. There are a number of hotel models that fall into this category. Most of these models, though not all, are on plinths with the name scribed onto the plinth itself. Many are believed to have been modelled by James Hart himself. Several are signed by him.
Themed Models A number of the numbered series were produced in one of several themes: snow, flowers, bunting and colours.
The snow group is a special finish adopted for some of the models and are generally quite scarce. The snow appears on the main roof and window sills.
The flower group were produced, it is believed, to celebrate the occasion when Bury St Edmunds won the 1988 Floral Town of Britain winner (Britain In Bloom). Only a small number of models are known to have been finished in this theme.
The bunting models were produced in 1977 to celebrate the Queen's Silver Jubilee. Again, only a small number of the models are known to be finished in this theme.
Cottages were produced in a number of colourways. However models produced in red, blue and green were identified with a letter code as well as the cottage number.
Sets and Packaging These pages provide details of Mudlen End Studio and English Country Cottages packaging, the latter corresponding to sets of three cottages that were sold in distinctive yellow boxes.
Great Storm Models A group of three plinth mounted models commemorating the Great Storm that occurred in the early hours of October 16th 1987.
Other Models (Specials) This group of models are ones that don't quite fit any of the other categories and includes money boxes and other specials.
French Series It appears that a group of models were produced for the French market. It is believed that there are six models in the series.
Lark Rise to Candleford A set of six models were produced based on the book "Lark Rise to Candleford" by Flora Thompson. These are all marked LR and a number, 1 to 6. The models appear similar to some of the cottages in the Numbered Series but are entirely distinct models.
This series has not featured strongly in my collecting for some reason - more through lack of particular appeal rather than as a result of scarcity.
Fragrant Homes Several examples of perfume bottles were produced. These are unglazed models and do not match any of the conventional Mudlen End cottage models.
Mudlen Originals Mudlen Originals was established in the US as a result of a collaboration between an American businessman and James Hart, initially marketing models produced by Mudlen End Studios but later making models themselves, such as the Sagebrush Junction models.

If you have any comments or questions about the site in general or specific items that are featured, please contact me. A Contact link is located at the bottom of each page.

The remainder of this home page shows examples of the Mudlen End Studio range of cottages and other models, divided into a series of categories. Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model. Hover over the image to show the model name.

Note: This site is still under development. While photographs are provided of many of the models, it is my intention to add further photographs and information - as and when I have the time!

Numbered Series

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Cottage No 1 Mudlen End Cottage No 2 Mudlen End Cottage No 3 Mudlen End Cottage No 4
Mudlen End Cottage No 5 Mudlen End Cottage No 6 Mudlen End Cottage No 7 Mudlen End Cottage No 8
Mudlen End Cottage No 9 Mudlen End Cottage No 10 Mudlen End Cottage No 11 Mudlen End Cottage No 12
Mudlen End Cottage No 13 Mudlen End Cottage No 14 Mudlen End Cottage No 15 Mudlen End Cottage No 16
Mudlen End Cottage No 17 Mudlen End Cottage No 18 Mudlen End Cottage No 19 Mudlen End Cottage No 20
Mudlen End Cottage No 21 Mudlen End Cottage No 22 Mudlen End Cottage No 23 Mudlen End Cottage No 24
Mudlen End Cottage No 25 Mudlen End Cottage No 26 Mudlen End Cottage No 27 Mudlen End Cottage No 28
Mudlen End Cottage No 29 Mudlen End Cottage No 30 Mudlen End Cottage No 31 Mudlen End Cottage No 32
Mudlen End Cottage No 33 Mudlen End Cottage No 34 Mudlen End Cottage No 35 Mudlen End Cottage No 36
Mudlen End Cottage No 37 Mudlen End Cottage No 38 Mudlen End Cottage No 39 Mudlen End Cottage No 40
Mudlen End Cottage No 41 Mudlen End Cottage No 42 Mudlen End Cottage No 43 Mudlen End Cottage No 44

Lark Rise to Candleford

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Lark Rise LR1 Mudlen End Lark Rise LR2 Mudlen End Lark Rise LR3
Mudlen End Lark Rise LR4 Mudlen End Lark Rise LR5 Mudlen End Lark Rise LR6

Themed Models (Bunting, Flowers, Snow, Colours)

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Cottages with Bunting Mudlen End Cottages with Flowers Mudlen End Cottages with Snow
Mudlen End Cottages in Red Mudlen End Cottages in Blue Mudlen End Cottages in Green

Named Models (Not Numbered)

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Note that the thumbnail images in this group are not to scale - the phone box is nothing like the size of the church!

Mudlen End Felsham Church Mudlen End Telephone Box Mudlen End Moyse's Hall
Mudlen End Guildhall Feeoffment School Mudlen End Garrick Inn Mudlen End Cherry Trees School
Mudlen End Chigwell Cottages Mudlen End Shakespeare's Birth Place Mudlen End The Crock of Golde

Large Models (Hotels etc.)

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Swan Hotel Mudlen End Lavenham Guildhall Mudlen End Bell Hotel
Mudlen Kings Head Mudlen End Bull Hotel Mudlen End Bull Hotel

Sets and Packaging

Click on the image to navigate to a page providing further information and examples of individual boxes and sets.

Mudlen End Studio Individual Boxes Country Cottages Sets (A to F)

Great Storm Models

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Great Storm (No 13) Mudlen End Great Storm (No 29) Mudlen End Great Storm (No 39)

Other Models (Specials)

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Ash Tray (No 16) Mudlen End Cottage Money Box Mudlen End Sheep Money Box

French Series

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

There are believed to be six models in the French series, but this is as yet unconfirmed.

Mudlen End Flanders Cottage (French Series) Mudlen End Unknown Cottage (French Series)

Fragrant Homes

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen End Fragrant Homes (Brown) Mudlen End Fragrant Homes (Blue)

Mudlen Originals (US)

Click on the image to navigate to a page dedicated to the particular model.

Mudlen Originals Sagebrush Junction models

 

Mudlen Originals Cottage No 2 (Tattingstone) Mudlen Originals Cottage No 8 (Old Mill House)

 

Mudlen Originals Sagebrush Junction models

Availability Classification Scheme

The table below summarises the classification scheme that is used for availability of each model, although this is based purely on my own experiences rather than being established through any scientific quantitative process!

Note that this scheme only includes four grades of availability. The reference guide produced by S. B. Carphlaughey uses a much more detailed system for grading the availability of models.

Common An online search of auction sites such as eBay in a given month has a greater than 50% likelihood of finding one or more examples of the model.
Uncommon An online search of auction sites such as eBay in a given month may be unsuccessful, but within a three month period there is a greater than 50% likelihood of finding an example of the model.
Hard to Find There is only a 50% likelihood that an example of the model may be found in an online search of auction sites such as eBay over a period of a year.
Scarce There is only a 50% likelihood that an example of the model may be found in an online search of auction sites such as eBay over a period of five years.

Company History

Mudlen End Studio was first registered in June 1977 and was finally dissolved in Nov 1993. The registered address for the company was "Mudlen End, Felsham, Suffolk". The pottery was owned and run by James Hart who lived at Mudlen End (depicted as Cottage No 18 in the Numbered Series). Mr Hart died in 2003.

While the company was registered in 1977, the Mudlen End catalogue identifies cottage No 1 as "Our first model from 1966", showing that pottery was being made under this name for at least a decade before the company was registered.

It seems that the pottery was originally manufactured at Felsham, presumably at Mudlen End itself, but later production was undertaken at Unit 7, Thurston Granary, Bury St. Edmunds, Suffolk. It isn't clear when the move to Thurston Granary took place, but it is not unreasonable to surmise that the move to Thurston Granary coincided with an increase in production and the need for more space and staff, but this is speculation on my part.

Different marks appear on the underside of the models to identify the painters, so it is clear that a number of people must have been employed to help with the production and finish of the models, but it is not known how many people were employed. James Hart is reported as saying that models that do not carry a painter's mark were in fact pained by him. There are some larger models, produced in limited numbers that are signed by James Hart. An example is the Kings Head, Chigwell.

Models were also made for sale overseas. A series of French models was produced for a French business. Models were also distributed through "Mudlen Originals", although they subsequently made the models themselves locally and produced additional items such as dedicated shelving to support their marketing. If you have any further information, please contact me.

References

One of the best sources for information about the company, its history and the models produced and also a vehicle for making enquiries if you are interested in particular information, is to access the Mudlen End Studio Collectors Forum. This is a blog that has been established by Ben Hart, son of the potter who originally set up the pottery, to celebrate his late father's work. This is a resource that will inevitably increase in value to researchers and collectors over time as more and more content is added.

I make occassional reference in these web pages to the collectors guide to Mudlen End models produced by S. B. Carphlaughey, which adopts a much more detailed system for grading the availability of models than that used on this site and provides valuable information and photos of the variants of each model, as well as providing guidance on price (something I have no intention of doing on this site). If you are interested in Mudlen End models, then this guide is very useful. While I am happy to recommend it, I must make it clear that I have no relationship with either the author or publisher of the work!

Mudlen End Studio Pottery - A Collectors Guide with Price Indications, S. B. Carphlaughey, Published by J. & M. Wholesale (Bedford) Ltd, ISBN No. 1-905075-00-6

The book is available for a modest cost in PDF format and can usually be sourced from either eBay or Amazon.

Notes

I started collecting these cottages and related models virtually by accident. My mother, who still lives in Suffolk where I spent my childhood, had a small group of these cottages that had sat over the fireplace for many years. A few years ago, my son decided that we should try and buy a few more as a birthday present for her. We then discovered of course that they were no longer available.

A search on eBay revealed that some could be acquired via that route. I ended up bidding on a group, which I bought for just a few pounds. Another small group followed. That gave me a few more models to pass on to my mother but left me with some duplicates of models she already had. Since the cottages related to the Suffolk area where I had been brought up but no longer live, I ended up buying one or two more and before I knew it, found myself collecting them. This was very much a side interest initially, as my dominant collecting interest is antique and vintage cameras, as you will quickly discover if you follow the link in the heading bar to the camera collection pages!