The Lady Ludlow Collection begun around 1910 by Alice ‘Birdie’ Sedgwick Mankiewicz, later Lady Ludlow. It is especially strong in lavishly decorated figures and vases of the Rococo period and it includes many rare and early examples. Nicknamed ‘Birdie’ due to her love of birds, Lady Ludlow’s collection, formed over the two World Wars, is largely dominated by figurines of birds together with shepherdesses, cooks, goats and bees. These are joined by some impressive plates and vases.
A prominent figure in London society between the wars, Lady Ludlow was a close personal friend of Queen Mary, wife of George V; in fact she bequeathed these two Bow peacock figures to the Queen, who later returned them as she is alleged to be afraid of "the evil eye on them." By 1932 her remarkable collection had grown to over 500 outstanding pieces from major English porcelain factories of the 18th century, including Chelsea, Bow, Worcester, and Derby. The collection was presented by the Art Fund in 2004.