The WMODA exhibition ‘A flair for fashion’.

I’ve just had some extra pictures of the current exhibition at the WMODA housed at the Gallery of Amazing Things that I thought would interest us all!
The sheer breadth of exhibits is to be marvelled but for me it is the massive array of Doulton wares that interests me most!
Here are a few pictures of the figures currently on display as part of the Flair for Fashion exhibition! Enjoy!!

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Royal Doulton’s ‘new style’ figures (from1936).

At the British Industries Fair of 1936, Doulton’s exhibit dew favourable reviews from all corners. New lines in tablewares and shapes, new animal studies including a new tiger and also a selection of new figures were introduced to the public.


Among these new figures was The Coming of Spring, which was singled out for praise. Indeed this new figure was described as evidence of further development in connection with the range of ‘Royal Doulton Figures’. Moreover it was felt that this large model by Leslie Harradine captured the modern spirit, without conveying ‘the idea of a continental flavour’ and it was heralded as one of the smartest conceptions in figures that has ever emanated from the Doulton factory!


Examples of this large figure are rare today, no doubt due to the costs involved in her production as she would surely be part of what we call the Prestige Range today.
A simplified ‘sister’ figure is Celia, also by Harradine.


Doulton’s fluttering butterflies.

The Camberwell Beauty tile panel.

Since Victorian times butterflies have been a popular collecting field; from actual examples, to jewellery, to pottery – examples can be readily found.
As a follower of fashion it is no surprise to find many examples of butterflies throughout Doulton’s many ranges. Some of the earliest can be found on their Faience ware produced at Lambeth and this body and style of decoration perfectly suits the beauty of these fragile creatures!

Above and below a vase and detail by Frances Linnell dated 1877.

On the larger size is the famous Camberwell Beauty (above) which even today decorates the side of a building in Camberwell, London. On the smaller size are the Lambeth vases decorated with Butterflies under the pattern number X8725 and this charming bibelot by Harry Simmeon (often mistakenly attributed to Mark Mashshall) that I have in my own collection.


There are also an array of Burslem butterflies to collect – from floating flower bowl clips which can be found mounted on stumps too, to brooches, to tea wares, to serieswares.

Three Butterfly clips for bowls and vases ca.1920.

Detail of a seriesware pattern that was also used in art wares from the Robert Allen studio.

For me the most wonderful Butterfly created by Doulton was the stylish figure of a girl in a butterfly costume designed by Leslie Harradine from 1925 and available in 5 colourways.

Harradine’s Butterfly HN719.

This figure was inspired by a costume design as Jocelyn and I originally revealed in our book Reflections. Another Butterfly is of course Harradine’s Fairy HN1324 with her butterfly wings!

A favourite Fairy butterfly of mine.

In more recent times Doulton was keen to revisit past successes and so we have Peter Gee’s lovely figure Isadora and also the Prestige Butterfly Ladies Collection by the wonderful Valerie Annand.

A look at how Peggy’s figurine Denise evolved!

We all know that an artist’s original model can change dramatically during the pre-production and even sometimes post production phase.

A chance sighting of this early version of Peggy Davies’ lady Denise reminded me of this! Here you can see an early prototype where there has been an attempt to create a lace effect over the skirt and also around the top of the dress. It makes quite a startling change to the figure and you can see why cost would have prohibited production of this elaborate model.

A typical version of Denise HN2477 from the Vanity Fair series introduced in the 1980’s.

Many thanks to Jonathan at the Potteries Specialist Auctions for use of the photograph from their upcoming sale on 15th November.

Remember, remember the 5th of November….

…gunpowder, treason and plot!


I’m sure there isn’t a British adult who does not remember the story of Guy Fawkes and his failed attempt to blow up Parliament when in session and thus return a Catholic monarch to the throne. Since his capture on the 5th November 1605 we have celebrated this event annually with large bonfires with a ‘Guy’ atop.
Despite his grizzly end, Guy or Guido Fawkes has been immortalised on many occasions by Royal Doulton in their most popular collections.


One of the first is this large figure designed by Noke himself and available in 3 colourways as well as a modern miniature. I have always thought there must be a picture to go with this figure but to date nothing identical has turned up, save the typical illustrations of him since the foiled plot, such as this one. There has been a newer version of a Guy Fawkes illustrated above HN4784.


Noke’s love of historical characters and events resulted in this wonderful addition to his range of limited edition loving cups and jugs introduced in the 1930’s, complete with detailed description to the base!


And of course he has also been immortalised in Character Jug form too!


Who would have thought that centuries later we would be celebrating this event and a man who was convicted of treason?

Doulton’s rare seriesware pattern Pixies.

For me this is one of the most endearing patterns that can be found on seriesware and it really does take you back to a different time – when fairies, pixies and gnomes were all the fashion and captured our imaginations.
There are two pattern numbers recorded – D3690 and D3747.
I have seen the plate on the right (D3690) in different colours and the design on the left (D3747) on a baby bowl – other than these examples, I have never come across any others, so I imagine it to be rare.
This charming series was introduced in 1913 and apparently withdrawn by 1930.