The sheer variety of early figures in Royal Doulton’s HN collection illustrates the lengths that were gone to, to appeal to early collectors as the company tried to discover a popular house style.
Title page of an early figure catalogue.
Of course by the time the Masquerade pair appeared in 1924, the great Leslie Harradine had already been supplying models to the Burslem art studios for a few years.
A burnished gold HN636 Masquerade.
During the early 20thC there was huge interest in masked and costume balls and the latter must have inspired this pairing and other Chelsea inspired figures from a bygone age in English china manufacturing.
Masquerade (female) HN 600.
‘Kissing’ Masqueraders HN 600 in china and HN 683 in earthenware.
Interestingly the two Doulton models’ bases fit so that the couple can kiss if the owner so wishes. They appear in this 1920’s figure catalogue titled Personalities and Porcelain along with a group of other early figures. Also of interest to note is that HN683 and HN 637 the last versions of each were actually made in earthenware rather than china like the other versions.
Masquerade HN 599 & 636.
Typical of Doulton’s studios they also experimented with this pair and a handful of other figures, producing examples in burnished gold with ivory face and hand details, imitating gold/bronze and Ivory figurative sculptures from the art nouveau era.
A chance find of a portrait plaque featuring a well known portrait of Sir Henry Doulton has inspired this piece.
Doulton’s Photographic ware is rare with examples dating between 1893-1905 approximately.
Early plate with a photographic image of Joseph Joachim, a popular violinist.
The method of transferring a photographic image on to transfer paper for application on to a china body was developed by John Slater and examples usually carry a simple Doulton mark and also the predictable “Slater’s Patent” stamp.
A pair of early Slater’s Patent photographic plates (subjects unknown).
Subjects range from famous stage personalities of the time to other period celebrities.
The Royal Doulton figure Newhaven Fishwife HN 1480 is like so many of their period street sellers and character figures, based closely on real life. The Scottish fishwives of Newhaven had a reputation for their beauty and industry. They were hard-bargainers though, and all the fishermen of the Firth of Forth in Edinburgh, Scotland, brought their catches to Newhaven for the fishwives to sell in Edinburgh city.
Just like the Doulton figure, the fishwives of Newhaven wore distinctive costumes of layers of colourfully striped petticoats with a muslin cap or other similar headdress, together with a scarf, the tassels of which you can make out in the picture and also around the neck of the figure itself. Their fish, including haddock and herring, were carried on their backs in creels, again just like the figure.
The Newhaven Fishwife although introduced in the 1930s, was not a Leslie Harradine figure, but a model by Harry Fenton, more famously associated today with Doulton’s Character Jugs. She is recorded as having been produced between 1931-37, however, her scarcity reinforces the reality that many figures were made to order rather than being readily available.
….at Tillington Hall Hotel Stafford.
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A smart child’s breakfast set, once popular christening presents.
Classic nursery rhymes have long provided much inspiration for Doulton’s designers and just like many Seriesware designs the L range was influenced by another artist, Ann Anderson.
Introduced in 1916 there were 12 different designs produced featuring classic characters such as Little Tommy Tucker, the Queen of Hearts and This Little Pig.
A variation of the boxed set above.
Typically produced in bone china the precise date of withdrawal is unknown, although the outbreak of WWII is given as it is with so many of Doulton’s different lines. The bases of items with these designs can carry H or D numbers for this series ware pattern.
Beaker with silver plated handle and original retailer’s box.
As with so many series ware designs hunting down items provides a great challenge and a collection of them makes a great display.
St George HN 2067.
England’s patron saint is celebrated annually with St George’s Day on the 23rd April. Symbolic references to him and the story of his slaying a dragon can be found throughout Bristish life: his cross forms the national flag of England, also it features within the union flag of the United Kingdom and is also contained with other flags containing the Union Flag such as New Zealand’s and Australia’s.
England’s patron saint can be traced back through history to before the Norman Conquest of 1066 and it is recorded that by the 14thC St George had been declared England’s patron saint and protector of Royalty!
Doulton advert for their Festival of Britain stand 1951.
Doulton’s first figure model of St George (above) introduced as HN 385 was by Stanley Thorogood and was based on an earlier study by the artist from 1915.
St George by Peggy Davies 1950-85.
Doulton have produced the figures above as well as featured him in other popular lines produced including their Bunnykins range.
Bunnykins St George.