Red Rose Tea Figurines - Wade Whimsies
Mixture of vintage Wade Whimsies porcelain animals and fairy tale characters. Because this was found in Canada it is assumed they are from the Red Rose Tea collection however with the history of these figures it is hard to say for sure. History of Wade Porcelain is posted below.
The figurines were manufactured by George Wade & Son Ltd, a British pottery firm that had begun life in Burslem, England in the nineteenth century. Through the years Wade, which has had many name changes and operated from several locations, has made an array of ceramic products, including tableware, giftware and products for industry. But by 1953, according to ‘The World of Wade Whimsies’ by Ian Warner and Mike Posgay, British Government orders for porcelain electrical insulators had dropped at some Wade potteries and the company had to look for other products to manufacture. According to the books authors, Iris Lenora Carryer, (daughter of George Albert Wade who helped run the family business), suggested that the company manufacture figurines as promotional items for other retail businesses. The figurines sold as boxed sets and companies in Great Britain purchased them to help promote sales. The miniature porcelain figurines were named Whimsies. The first set appeared in 1953, consisting of animal figures including the fawn, spaniel, horse, squirrel and poodle. The first time Red Rose Tea had packaged figurines in its tea boxes was in Canada in 1967. The figurines were such a hit that in 1969 the British arm of the company began offering them locally. Though this was the first time Wade had made figurines as promotional items for business, it had been making larger figures of animals and glamorous women since the late 1920s. However, the start of World War II had halted production of these items. Before packaging the Wade Whimsies in Red Rose Tea boxes, Red Rose in America had carried out test runs in the 1970s in Pittsburgh and the Pacific Northwest.