Carlotta Edwards – Collecting Vintage Ballet

Symphonie Fastastique en Couleur

The 1950s saw an explosion of all things ballet in popular culture.

One of the most prominent artists was Carlotta Edwards (1894 – 1977). Edwards was the daughter of the French painter Ferdinand Pourrier. Her ballet scenes once graced the bedrooms of little girls (and big) all over England but were very popular in Australia and New Zealand. Edwards appears to have based most of her pictures on photographs of popular British dancers.

The Nutcracker

Carlotta Edwards Swan Lake

Edwards paintings were released as framed prints as well as on trays, place-mats, puzzles, clocks and many other novelty items.

These items can still be found at charity shops, car-boot sales, in vintage shops and online. I have a range of Edwards designs currently on my etsy shop – The Red Shoes Vintage.


English manufactures, Win-El-Ware, launched a range of coasters and place-mats featuring Edwards designs.


These coasters show six scenes from the Sadler’s Wells Ballet/Royal Ballet: Giselle, Swan Lake, Les Sylphides, Symphonie Fantastique en Couleur and Don Quixote.


The six place-mats show five Sadler’s Wells Ballet/Royal Ballet ballerinas:

Margot Fonteyn in Giselle and Firebird
Nadia Nerina in La Fille Mal Gardée
Alicia Markova most likely in Don Quixote
Beryl Grey most likely in The Lady and the Fool
Svetlana Beriosova in an unknown ballet

Tray (8)

A gorgeous tray featuring a scene from the ballet Giselle.