Lindsey B: The Woman, The Legend (Part 1)
I have been an avid admirer of Lindsey B (Balkwill) for many years now and have been buying and selling her early 1984 to 1987 items which are a mix of modernist and art deco themed designs and are now highly collectible.
Recently (Christmas 2019) Lindsey was having to leave her workshop after 40 years and asked if I would be interested in clearing some of her old items. Of course I was very excited as this included many prototypes and several models I had never seen before and some items that were never even put into production. It was a very exciting meeting.
Lindsey trained in graphic design at the St Martins School of Art in London. Focusing on 3D form after a fortuitous encounter with John Taylor, who was the principal sculptor to Adel Roostein Mannequins. She was to work with John for ten years during which time she experimented with techniques and materials to evolve a style which evoked enthusiastic critical acclaim. In 1983 with the introduction of a range of decorative ceramic, plaster and resin sculpture, the company of Lindsey B was formed.
The collection was first shown in London and New York, and subsequently exhibited in major cities across Europe and America. Her work was distributed throughout the world and alongside her decorative work, Lindsey also developed a line of ornamental figures for use in commercial interiors and display. She also undertook specialised projects in creative advertising and the moving picture and theatrical industries. All originals were sculpted by Lindsey B at her Fulham Studios and decorative finishes were created in collaboration with her design team. Each Lindsey B piece was individually hand-made and usually signed in the mould, although the signature is not always easily visible as it is sometimes under the glaze.
She made busts, wall plaques, candle sets, vases and other decorative items – including a life size Garcon (waiter) and Agatha (waitress) – which are now extremely rare, probably due to their fragility and price. Sculptures include such pieces as Ruby, Peking, Rick and Rachel, Luba, Brian, Brunnhilde, Blackpool girls, three different sizes of Garcon, Bud, Bonnie, Ted, Agatha, Mantis, Lillah, Tex, Pearl, Irmgard, Flick and Wick, and Rio. Brunnhilde was a bust made especially for optical stores – having deep high cheek bones and a ridge to the nose for displaying glasses. The early Lindsey B pieces were made from 1984 before ceasing production in 1987, after being disillusioned with copies of her sculptures by other companies hitting the market.
She carried on creating mannequins for other companies and creating other prototypes which did not go into production and is still working on new designs today. Her earlier items are now extremely collectible and highly sought after across the world – however there are many reproduction pieces on the market of substandard quality.
In early 2020 we purchased all remaining stock directly from Lindsey B including many unique designs and prototypes.
Our Pearl (to the left) and the original advertising sheet for Pearl printed in 1985. We’ve recently been sent the photo of a Pearl on the facade of a building. According to Lindseys partner Ivan, the figure was displayed above a strip club.
Lulu and Rosa wall masks in my private collection. These are both prototypes.
The ceramic Ruby vase was made in matt and high gloss finishes either white or black and was available with or without the red lips
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