With the turn of the Twentieth Century there came a real change in fashion and also saw the rise of Haute Couture from Paris, France. Notably it also saw the demise of the ‘S’ shape corset for a more graceful and elegant look with straighter lines and raised waistlines.
When Leslie Harradine first began sending his models to Burslem for approval we see not only a great talent but also an artist who is able to tap into popular movements; namely fashion. With Harradine’s involvement, the HN collection really came into its own and at last gained the popularity Charles Noke had hitherto been striving for, for his renaissance in Staffordshire figure production that he had first attempted in the late 19th Century with his Vellum figures. Harradine’s first figure was the elegant The Princess HN391 inspired by costumes by the great costumier Leon Bakst for contemporary ballets. She was followed by a steady stream of other similar ladies including Tulips, also by Harradine, but other ladies including The Necklace and The Bouquet both by George Lambert also reflect this style.
There are earlier examples of this style, namely Tittensor’s Gainsborough Hat introduced in 1915 in 9 different colourways again reflecting not only fashionable styles but also popular fabrics that included many differently patterned fabrics being used together. There were a handful of figures which reflected this mix of fabrics, a favourite of mine is this version of Contentment by Harradine.
Fashion has always played an important role in the HN collection, perhaps you arrange your displays accordingly? If so why not share some pictures with us on our Facebook page ‘Doulton Collectors Club’!