Charles Vyse (1882-1971) is considered to be one of the key figures in the development of British studio pottery. Working side by side with his wife Nell (1892-1967); they are best known for their colorful figures of Londons street vendors.
Charles was part of a Staffordshire family that had traditionally been involved in the pottery industry. He was apprenticed to Doulton in Burslem at age fourteen as a modeler and designer, and trained by Charles Noke. Henry Doulton saw his potential and steered him to the Hanley School of Art where he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art in London.
The Doulton Studios produced many designs by Charles Vyse in the inter-war period, including such famous figures as Darling. However, Vyse is best remembered for the thousands of pieces produced at his studio at Cheyne Walk in Chelsea, which he started in 1919 with his wife Nell. Here they produced figurines based on ordinary people seen in London at the time. These slip-cast figures proved to be extremely popular and a number of women were employed to produce them. The Cheyne Walk studio was badly damaged in the blitz in 1940 and Charles took up a teaching position at Farnham School of Art. After the war, he recommenced production of the character figures with Barbara Waller, a student from Farnham.