RHS orchid artist Nelly Roberts (1872–1959) created over 4,500 watercolour studies of orchids, a choice of which has been lovingly commemorated by Moorcroft Pottery designer Nicola Slaney in For The Love of Orchids RHS Collection to mark the 150th Anniversary of Nelly’s birth.
Nelly lived and worked in a room above the family shop at 72 Loughborough Road in Brixton. ‘Very shy & retiring,’ she painted away in a ‘small, neat but rather cold room’, according to The Orchid Review. With great determination, notwithstanding painful rheumatoid arthritis, the celebrated RHS illustrator worked tirelessly for the RHS until 1953, Coronation year.
This year, as Great Britain celebrates a Platinum Jubilee, Moorcroft have created five new designs, each holding a different orchid cultivar or hybrid inspired by Nelly’s work, and even an orchid bearing her own name.