Betty Issod – The Queen of Wedgwood
A lifelong passion for Wedgwood began for Betty Issod in the early 1950s, after her introduction to English ceramics by her dearest friend, Muriel Polikoff, a well-known dealer from Philadelphia. Muriel introduced Betty to the Buten Museum of Wedgwood in Merion, PA. It was at the Museum, where she first glimpsed a Fairyland Luster vase by designer Daisy Makeig Jones that changed the course of Betty’s life. Immediately entranced by the artistry, quality and magic of Fairyland Luster, Betty began to study in and learn everything she could about these elusive works of art. The fairies had cast their spell, and Betty’s life was forever changed.
Betty’s life of scholarship began at an early age. From the time Betty was a young girl, she was academically brilliant and gifted with a photographic memory. Betty graduated with top honors and was awarded a full scholarship at the University of Wisconsin where she graduated Cum Laude.
Shortly after graduation, Betty married her sweetheart Leonard Issod. The couple settled in Wisconsin to open a boutique clothing store which became famous for its fashion, clientele, and an innovative marketing strategy which limited the sale of a single dress to each of the high school formals throughout the state.
Even while raising her children and running her business, Betty couldn’t stop dreaming about Wedgwood and heard the calling of its fairies. Friends from her time in Philadelphia encouraged her to pursue her passion and join the International Association of Wedgwood Dealers. After joining the Association, Betty’s passion grew, and she began traveling the world in search of interesting examples of Wedgwood to add to her growing collection. Once she felt she had curated her first collection, she placed an ad in the Antiques Trader and sold out her entire collection in one day. In that moment, Betty was hooked and decided that she wouldn’t stop until she become the top dealer in Wedgwood Fairyland Luster in the United States. Betty’s determination was an unstoppable force of nature.
Since the 1960s, Betty and Leonard traveled the country exhibiting at countless antique shows and fairs. Their business expanded internationally where they traveled to England frequently, eventually meeting and forming a close life-long friendship with Barbara and Hensley Wedgwood. Over decades of exhibits and participation with numerous Wedgwood associations, Betty became renowned for having the best examples of Wedgwood that one could find. Because of the rarity of her pieces as well as the difficulty in procuring them, Betty would only allow her clients to purchase one item a year and would only sell to those who knew and appreciated Wedgwood. Although unorthodox, Betty understood that there was a limited amount of Luster to be found and wanted to have pieces available for her collectors who truly had a similar passion for these wonders of Wedgwood.
At age 89, Betty slowed down on doing antique shows and decided to focus on where her unique collection might ultimately find an appreciative audience. After months of deliberation, Betty decided that the Wiener Museum of Decorative Arts (WMODA) was the best place for a permanent exhibition of some of her rarest examples of Fairyland.
Lion and Unicorn proudly presents the collection of Betty Issod. You will find exquisite Fairyland Luster from Daisy Makeig Jones, rare and elusive Black Basalt, and unique examples of Jasperware and other works by Wedgwood.