Category:Fairylite Foreign

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Fairylite Foreign

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Fairylite

Fairylite Foreign backstamp
Original boxed set of Fairylite Foreign cup, saucer, and instruction sheet for tea leaf reading
The Fairylite Empire Made Wheel of Knowledge box uses the same logo type as the Fairylite Foreign Cup of Knowledge, a style copied from the Aynsley Cup of Knowledge instruction booklet
A 1950s Fairylite Empire Made Wheel of Knowledge uses roulette wheel technology to deliver a fortune; here we see that the steel ball has dropped into the King of Hearts pocket, signifying that true love is at hand for the woman who spun the wheel
A 1950s Fairylite Made in England Court Card Pocket Patience game; it is a "15" puzzle using card suits as markers

Fairylite was a British manufacturer and also an importer of Asian-made novelties during the post World War Two era. They dealt in paper goods, playing cards, toys, games, and other small items. Depending on the nature of the merchandise and the place of manufacture, the items are marked "Fairylite Made in England," "Fairylite Foreign," or "Fairylite Empire Made."

Fairylite Foreign

"Foreign" is an old British legal mark for imported porcelain. It was used at a time when the specific nation of origin was not required to be placed on each piece. The Fairylite Foreign mark is only found on porcelain tea leaf reading sets.

"Foreign" is an old British legal mark for imported porcelain. It was used at a time when the specific nation of origin was not required to be placed on each piece. All "Fairylite Foreign" goods were made in Japan, and all were marked "foreign" with an underglazed backstamp. The same products were also made for export to the United States, but with other brand names.

Fairylite Empire Made

"Empire Made" is an old British legal mark for imported goods that were made outside of Britain, but in a nation that was part of the British empire (later the British Commonwealth). The Fairylite Empire Made brand is found on a variety of paper and plastic goods, probably produced in Hong Kong. The same products were also made for export to the United States, but with other brand names.

Fairylite Made in England

Most of the Fairylite products made in England were printed paper goods, paper and chipboard games with plastic markers, or plastic puzzle games.

The Fairylite Cup of Knowledge

The Fairylite Foreign porcelain tea leaf reading sets were made in Japan, and all were marked "Foreign" with a paper label.

The same products, from the same factory, were also made for export to the United States, but with other label names.

The B. Shackman brand used the same instruction booklet that Fairytlite Foreign used, without the Fairylite name.

Both of these booklets were unauthorized copies of the booklet designed to accompany the Aynsley Cup pf Knowledge, made in England. Because the English Aynsley company used a spurious Asian type font and dragon motif for its product, it seems justly ironic that an actual Asian pottery company stole the designs for use on the tea cups and booklets that they exported to England.

The Fairylite Wheel of Knowledge

The most interesting of the "Empire Made" goods -- for our purposes, at least -- is the Fairylite Wheel of Fortune and Knowledge. The logotype, dragon design, and box layout for the Fairylite divination roulette wheel is the same as that used on the Fairylite fortune tellng tea cup. This is a little plastic roulette wheel spinner, 4 inches in diameter, with 52 pockets, each marked with a different playing card. Turning the turret puts a tiny metal ball into play, and when the wheel stops its spin, one card has been selected, which gives the user a daily fortune. The Fairylite Wheel of Knowledge is a miniature roulette wheel contained within a 4 inch diameter bright green plastic case. You can read more about it and other Fortune-Telling Wheels and Spinners at my Your Wate and Fate web site.

The Fairylite Pocket Patience Game

The Fairylite Made in England Court Card Pocket Patience game is a "15" puzzle in which card suits are employed as markers. Its design is art deco, with no fontographic references to Asian motifs.


catherine yronwode
curator, historian, and docent
The Mystic Tea Room

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