Part 2 of my celebration of 100 Years of Doulton’s HN Collection for Seaway China

Here is another link, this time to part 2 of my account of the first 100 years of Doulton’s HN collection of figures, published naturally by Seaway China.

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http://seawaychina.net/pdfs/catalog/summer2013/2013-Summer-Catalog-cover-and-features.pdf

Doulton’s Nursery Rhyme figures

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A page from a Doulton leaflet advertising their new Nursery Rhymes series in 1949

Some of Doulton’s earliest introductions to the HN range are inspired by lines from nursery rhymes. Consider Tittensor’s The Land of Nod HN56 or The Little Land HN63 also by Tittensor. In addition we have the very distinctive child models supplied to Doulton by Perugini in 1916, including Upon her Cheeks she Wept HN59, named after a line from Herrick’s “Upon Electra’s Tears” from the 17th Century.
Some of Doulton’s most popular nursery rhyme figures were created by Leslie Harradine and Peggy Davies. They are of course exquisitely modelled, as we would expect and are testament to the skill of all the Doulton artists involved in their production.

Here are some extracts from the same Doulton leaflet from 1949 advertising this new range of figures.

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Leslie Harradine’s Once upon a time HN 2047 (above and below)

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Peggy Davies’ Curly Locks HN2049 (above and below)

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One final figure we can now add to this collection of Nursery Rhymes figures is this charming prototype for Miss Muffet, that no doubt did not go into production due to the success of Harradine’s earlier Miss Muffet HN1936 and HN1937.

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The idea of Nursey Rhyme inspired figures has continued into recent times with a new collection by Adrian Hughes from the 1980’s.

A collection of these Nursery Rhymes figures makes an eye catching display and evokes all those pleasant memories of childhood as we recollect those charming lines from our favourite nursery rhymes.

Dickens Doultonised

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Some early Doulton advertising booklets for Dickensware ca. 1912 – the Centenary of Dickens’ birth, together with  2 seriesware trays a calendar with a Dickens figure and an early Tony Weller

When it comes to the works of Dickens, Charles Noke, Doulton’s art director at Burslem was blatantly a fan if not obsessed by all things Dickens.

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A facsimile of a letter from Dickens’ son to Doulton & Co. expressing his pleasure at their Dickens range

From the early 20th century and throughout his time as art director and even after, Doulton have produced a wide variety of wares to commemorate Dickens’ works.

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Three of Leslie Harradine’s original models for the miniature Doulton Dickens figures

The lengthy of time these many wares were produced mean that there is something for every collector, old and new and something for every pocket size too!

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Another of Harradine’s Prototypes, this time the full size Dickens figures, together with an early Mr Pickwick HN556
Here is a glimpse at the sheer variety of wares produced by Doulton, the majority under the direction of Noke himself!

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Two sterling silver trays mounted with Dickens miniatures.

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Three sizes of character jugs (L, M & S) and a derivative ash bowl

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Three Doulton Dickens tinies including Charles Dickens himself

This is but the tip of the so-called iceberg and there are many collectors throughout the world who share Noke’s enthusiasm for all things Dickens. I have been lucky enough to see two huge collections outside the UK, but why not share any unusual finds to our facebooks page? Search for:

Doulton Collectors Club

See you there!
Christopher

 

100 Years of Doulton figures

Check out this link for a look at the first chapter in the 100 years of Doulton figures by me and published by Seaway China.

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Here is the first page of the HN figure decoration book

http://seawaychina.net/pdfs/catalog/spring2013/1-11_cover-doulton-insight.pdf

 

Here is a sample:

Few people in 1913 would have imagined that this article would be being written to celebrate the 100th anniversary of Royal Doulton’s HN Collection. It was not after all Doulton’s first attempt at a introducing a figure range and many other famous factories had attempted and failed at this ambition. In 1893 at the World Columbian Exhibition in Chicago, a handful of figurative models by one of Doulton’s newest recruits Charles J. Noke were among their exhibits. These minimally decorated figures, now commonly referred to as Vellum Figures, met with a mixed reception from the buying public and Noke’s ambition of reviving the once famous, Staffordshire figure production was put on hold as his attention was drawn away by other projects including the introduction of Kingsware, Rembrandtware, Holbeinware, Hyperionware, the famous flambé glazes and the introduction of Doulton’s Series Ware with patterns such as the popular Dickens series. The range of Vellum Figures was very much influenced by the products of the Worcester factory where Noke had worked for some sixteen years until leaving to join Doulton in Burslem in his early 30’s. He would later comment that he joined Doulton ‘not for the money but for the freedom’ as Henry Doulton famously allowed his artists free rein.

A timely visit to the Doulton Burslem factory in April 1913 by England’s then King George V and Queen Mary provided a re-newed impetus to Noke’s desire to launch a new range of figures. In the years preceding this visit Noke had been approaching a carefully selected group of artists to provide models for Royal Doulton to reproduce in ceramic. It is reported that the new range of figures was completed in late 1912 but the launch of the range was held back to coincide with the Royal visit, and what a good decision this proved to be as Queen Mary would become a fan of the range making many purchases over the coming decades. In Royal Doulton’s brochures from the 1920’s and 1930’s they even pin pointed the figures Her Majesty had purchased – it undoubtedly proved very useful to have the most famous lady in the land favouring their figures.

 

Leslie Harradine Part 2 – A change of allegiance

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A rare photograph of Leslie Harradine

The next chapter of Harradine’s association with Doulton begins in 1919. Noke, Art Director at Doulton’s Burslem factory recognised Harradine’s talent for figure making and attempted to recruit him. Noke had been particularly impressed by the set of six Dickens figures Harradine had modelled for Lambeth.

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One of Harradine’s six Dickens figures made for Lambeth – Mr Micawber

However, not under any circumstances would Harradine consider working at Burslem, but via Lambeth’s Art Director Joseph Mott’s intervention, a meeting between Noke and Harradine was arranged whereby Noke travelled to London to meet with Harradine. The result of this meeting was of course that arrangement that has become legend amongst Doulton figure collectors. Thus Noke and Harradine came to an arrangement, whereby Harradine would send a succession of models to Burslem for Noke’s approval and a change of allegiance to Doulton’s of Burslem. This was an arrangement that lasted almost 40 years and would continue when Noke’s son succeeded him as Art Director in 1936 at Burslem. Harradine modelled in his preferred medium – salt glaze stoneware and sent one or two models per month wrapped in brown paper, and whose arrival would cause something of a stir when they arrived in Burslem.

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Here are two of Harradine’s original models for Burslem figures, both of Mr Micawber (first and second versions)

His models would deliver the popular success that the HN range had hitherto not achieved, representing fashions and interests from their own era. Harradine modelled women, men and children with equal skill. His figures entered the HN range in 1920 with The Princess HN391 until 1956, when his last ‘new’ model was introduced, Dimity HN2169, although many of his studies remained in production decades after this.

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The very stylish Clothilde in two colourways

At last Noke had found a modeller who could tap into the so-called ‘moment’ whatever it was, whether it is flapper girls, Victorian ladies, children or group studies. All were executed with precision and subtle style. Harradine remained something of a nomad yet he continued sending in models from addresses in England, the Channel Islands and Spain until the end of this great partnership.

In our final part to the Harradine story, we will look at Leslie Harradine, the family man.

Another interesting find from Karyn and Gordon

Here we have a colourway of Katharine, one not illustrated in the 1994 figures book and hitherto not recorded.

I believe this to be HN793 given the description in the aforementioned book. The piece has an impressed model number date of ‘9.23’ for September 1923.

The piece was originally introduced in 1916 but any examples of her are hard to find. She was of course modelled by the great C. J. Noke, Art director at Doulton’s Burslem factory.

A great find and thank you for sharing. Another undiscovered colourway can be ticked off the list! Here are some pictures of Katharine for you to see her in all her glory.

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