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Annie Fish

The artist Annie Fish

Mrs Walter Sefton, aka Annie (Harriet) Fish

Annie Fish was born in Bristol before her family moved to Ealing, West London. She was home-taught and then studied art at John Hassall’s School of Art under the tutelage of George Belcher.

Having contributed to American Vogue and Vanity Fair, from May 1914 she began to illustrate a new gossip column in The Tatler, “Letters of Eve”, written by Olivia Maitland-Davidson. The winning formula of Eve’s witty chatter and Fish’s thoroughly modern-looking, linear illustrations was copied in The Sketch and The Bystander, but it was Fish’s image of Eve that became an iconic wartime brand.

Her creation spawned an exhibition, several books, a sketch in a stage revue and a series of short films, not to mention a range of jewellery. Annie Fish was a consummate designer and her modern style was much in demand by companies such as Abdullah cigarettes and Erasmic soap. She also designed a variety of dress fabric designs for her textile manufacturer husband, Walter Sefton.

In the 1940s, Annie Fish retired to the artistic colony of St. Ives in Cornwall to concentrate on painting.