Eva Lilian Soper (1901–1990) and her sister Eileen worked in a studio at a wildlife sanctuary
in Hertfordshire which was started by their father George Soper RE. Eva Soper was
introduced to the Royal Worcester factory in 1937 by the American Fine Art publisher Alex
Dickens. She studied the wild birds at the sanctuary and designed and modelled a series of
twelve small British birds in her first two years with Royal Worcester. They were aimed at
the British market unlike the larger American birds made by her contemporary Dorothy
Doughty. In 1941 Eva Soper designed a further six birds and six double bird models which
proved very popular.
Eva Sopers birds were made of Bone China. At first the birds were decorated in gloss colours,
it was not until the 1950s that they were made in more realistic matt colours. The birds were
produced in unlimited numbers, they remained in production until 1986 when they were
discontinued. The birds are marked with a standard Royal Worcester mark, usually in black.
The name of the bird was written on by hand in pink in the 1930s. In the 1970s the name of
the bird sometimes appears printed in black.
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