The Late 70`s.

Mudlen End continued to grow and in 1977 was registered as a limited company and a larger workshop was built on the  site of the old showmans wagon. It was also a time when there was a lot of interest in large orders for the American market. Mudlen End cottages had steadily ‘infiltrated’ into the United States, mainly because they were bought in large numbers by service men and women stationed at the many U.S. airbases in and around Suffolk. They were bought as mementos of their posting or sent back home as gifts.

1977 saw the Queen`s silver jubilee and some models were adapted to have bunting hanging on the fronts, this was revisited once again in 1981 for the Royal wedding of Charles and Diana.

Production was increasing to a degree where it was decided to produce the raw cottages (greenware) in a larger industrial pottery, with the remainder of the processes being done at the Mudlen End studio.

The decoration of the cottages was done by a team of decorators who worked from their own homes. Each decorator etched her own  initial(s)  onto the base of each cottage along with the cottage number. Sometimes cottages are found to have the incorrect number,  or sometimes no number at all, this is more than likely to be caused by the decorator being distracted, maybe by a screaming child or perhaps the kettle boiling !!

One of the events of the late 70’s was the relationship between Mudlen End and ‘Around The Corner’, an American company dealing in craft items. Initially they bought cottages as any other buyer but then formed agreements with Mudlen End which produced cottages and stamped them “made for Around The Corner”. Then, for reasons better know only to themselves, they took the Mudlen End cottages to another pottery and asked if they could produce them. This pottery simply copied each model, presumably by making a mould straight from them, this is why they are smaller than their original Mudlen End counterparts. There is an ethical question regarding this but no laws broken. Some models were adapted slightly but generally they looked the same, although the colours could never be replicated, they are fairly easy to pick out as copies.

This photo of a page from a trade journal has notes around the border made by Mr. Hart .

Excert from trade journal.


4 thoughts on “The Late 70`s.”

  1. Hi Ben,

    Is it possible to descriminate between the models made by Mudlen End and the copies? did they even replicate the backstamps? Having realised that there were poor copies around, I decided not to collect them, but have one simply as a reference point. It is the shop with awning (second row, extreme left in the advert shown in your blog) and carries the following backstamp …

    Suffolk Cottages
    Made in England for
    Around the Corner
    W Hollywood CA


    1. Hi David.
      The copies are just not the same in colour,they are fairly well recognised if you know what to look for.But they do quite regularly turn up on e-bay listed as Mudlen End products.
      My father was angry and upset about the whole affair,as someone was blatantly copying products that he designed and made,also about the cost caused to the Mudlen End business, which can only be speculated upon.
      Not too sure regarding the backstamps.I think the ones actually produced by Mudlen End for Around The Corner had a Mudlen End stamp and a ‘made for…’
      and the copies had the stamp that you mention.

    1. Hi.
      I would reccommend that you list them on an auction site such as e-bay, and let bidders set the final price.
      The #44 should fetch several hundred dollars.
      If you don’t use e-bay it would be well worth opening an account just for this one sale.
      If you can wait however, I do intend to add to my blog a page where you could advertise items for sale which would put you in
      touch with buyers.

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