A BROMSGROVE author has won an award for highlighting the art of two secretive sisters who were among the most talented modellers to work for the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company.

Eva and Eileen Soper were so reclusive few people outside their home village of Harmer Green near Welwyn in Hertfordshire knew of them or the large body of work they produced.

But now former schoolmaster Colin Millett has received a citation from the trustees of the Soper Collection in Lavenham, Suffolk, for bringing Eva and Eileen to greater attention through his recent book Ladies of the Porcelain, which celebrated some of the company’s most famous female artists.

He said: "The sisters’ father George was a Fellow of the Royal Society of Painters , Etchers and Engravers and his daughters obviously followed in his footsteps. Eva become a highly talented bird modeller, while Eileen became an exceptionally accomplished engraver, whose later association with Enid Blyton, the famous writer of children’s books, led to her providing many illustrations for these books over a number of years.”

Eva Soper was brought to the attention of the Royal Worcester factory in 1937. In the same year she was commissioned to produce four single models of birds for the company. These included the robin, wren , blue tit and wood warbler. Over the next four years, Eva produced a further fourteen models of British birds .

In 1942, she completed a further six models of birds , but this time they were groups, featuring two birds on a tree stump. Each model reflected the extraordinary accuracy and attention to detail Eva brought to her work.

Colin added: “By 1941 Eva had introduced her sister Eileen to Royal Worcester and she was asked to create a series of child studies which sought to capture the realities of war for children at that time. Eileen produced seven models for Royal Worcester between 1941 and 1942, including Evacuees, Take Cover and The Rescue and they proved to be some of the most evocative and effective studies ever made by Royal Worcester . They have become highly collectable and expensive to buy in more recent times.”

Examples of the Soper sisters’ work can be seen in the Museum of Royal Worcester in Severn Street along with the output of a number of other important and talented women painters and modellers who made a significant contribution to the international success of Royal Worcester.

The book Ladies of the Porcelain is available from the museum or can be purchased via the website museumofroyalworcester.org