Ruth Levett was born of mixed French and Polish parentage at Raynes Park, London in
1931. At the age of 14, she became the youngest ever accepted student at Wimbledon School
of Art, where she specialised in costume and spent many hours studying in the Victoria and
She qualified as a designer and illustrator in 1952 and following her marriage to Ronald
van Ruyckevelt, started freelance work for Royal Worcester Porcelain in 1955. Together
they worked on the wonderful series of Limited Edition Victorian and Edwardian ladies,
Ruth’s expertise and knowledge of period costumes being particularly appropriate. They also
produced a set of four Nursing Sisters, in later years never agreeing who designed which
figure! Much confusion has arisen over the work of this talented couple and the Royal
Worcester Company eventually put the name ‘R van Ruyckevelt’ on the figures so as not to
offend either modeller.
The couple ran their own studios in Malvern during the 1970s, producing a number of china
models of flowers on marble bases, which were sold through Royal Worcester showrooms.
Ruth also worked for Dent’s Gloves as head designer, designed gloves for Christian Dior of
Paris and was on the staff of Malvern Girls College and Malvern College of Art.
During the late 1970s, following her divorce, she designed a number of Edwardian and Art
Nouveau figures for Albany Fine China of Lowesmoor, Worcester. She also modelled a small
number of portrait studies, including Earl Mountbatten and Queen Elizabeth II, which were
produced in bronze.
Ruth died in Birmingham in February 1988. She had two children, Paul and Julia.
[download pdf=”/wp-content/uploads/2014/02/Ronald-van-Ruyckevelt-models.pdf” content=”Royal Worcester figure models by Ruth & Ronald van Ruyckevelt”]