The influence behind Royal Doulton’s Classic 1930’s figurines Rosabell and Aileen.

Arthur Garratt (1873 – 1955)With works in National Collections in UK, you might expect to find more pictures of his here, however, to date there are just two. The first is Aileen HN1645 (1934 LH) and the Garratt picture ‘A sweet heart of mine’. 

The second is Rosabel HN1620 (1934 LH) and ‘Alice Blue Gown’, the title coming from two separate sources ; firstly the popular music hall song of the same name; and the second Alice Roosevelt Longworth, daughter of the former American President. This second link here is not only in the title, the dress in the picture being Longworth’s signature colour but the picture also bears a strong resemblance to Longworth. Her exploits earned her the title ‘Alice in Plunderland’ during a trip to Asia and interestingly she would also wear a costly string of pearls a gift from the Cuban government for the rest of her life. 

Many of Garratts’ pictures feature a young lady sporting a shawl; an image which Doulton too seem to have favoured during the early Twentieth Century.

The best Doulton present of all….

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Collecting Doulton Brangwyn ware. 

Brangwyn ware 1930-40Both Nokes, Charles and then Cecil, were men ahead of their time, constantly on the search for something new and thus Doulton approached Frank Brangwyn R. A. to design a range of tableware and other designs for them. 

Fruit bowl and soap dish with Brangwyn designs.

Originally intended to offer to the masses quality china at a reasonable price, the designs proved unpopular at the time among the buying public and as always the rarity of this ware has meant that it has become very collectable since then. Interestingly critics of the time hailed Doulton’s new ware as the pinnacle of ceramic ‘mass’ production. 

Two colourings of dinner plates available l is D5033 and r is D5221.

In addition to tableware designs, Brangwyn’s designs can also be found on various vases which are equally popular today. This ware carries one of two backstamps, the first ‘Designed by Frank Brangwyn’ and also ‘Brangwynware’ a Doulton pastiche. 

Three classic Brangwynware vases. Tallest is 12″.

In addition, once again Doulton’s in-house designers produced similar designs to the official Brangwyn designs and these carry a D number.

Collecting Royal Doulton’s Kate Greenaway child figures. 

Even today we are all aware of the work of Kate Greenaway be it as a book illustrator or artist. First introduced in 1976 with the figures Ruth, Carrie, Lori and Anna, and all skilfully  modelled by the great Peggy Davies, the children in Royal Doulton’s Kate Greenaway Collection are based upon illustrations by Kate that she in turn based upon her own Victorian childhood and upbringing. 

Illustration from Doulton’s 1979 catalogue.

Born in 1846, Kate first came to the public’s attention with her illustrations for Christmas cards. Then following a series of successful water colour exhibitions, she wrote and illustrated her Under the Window children’s book.

The legendary Peggy Davies at work.

The 18 children created by Doulton express the popularity she gave to bonnets, mop caps and high waisted children’s dresses with which she illustrated such famous books as The Birthday Book and Little Ann. Moreover, it was said at the time that she “dressed the children of two continents.” Reflecting her worldwide appeal. 

Illustration from Doulton’s 1987 catalogue including the display stand. 

Whilst the first 13 figures were modelled by Peggy between 1976-81 with annual introductions between these dates, it would be Pauline Parsons who completed the set between 1982-4 with five more children. The series was finally withdrawn at the end of 1987, three years after the last introduction of a new figure in 1984 with Pauline’s Ellen HN 3020. 

Two classic Kate Greenaway figures Georgina HN 2377 and Carrie HN 2800. 

In producing these charming child studies Doulton sought to recreate in china the ‘delicacy, tenderness and grace of Kate’s work.’ This attention to detail explains their enduring popularity among collectors to this day and naturally those with shorter production runs including Tom, Ellen and James are the most keenly sought after and carry the usual price premiums. Also popular with collectors is the display stand seen in the above catalogue illustration. 

Doulton Artist Profile – Max Henk.

Henk joined Royal Doulton in 1949 working under the direction of Cecil Jack Noke at first working on tableware patterns. Henk was to continue to develop the Character Jug range after Harry Fenton and his first jug was Long John Silver, with which he appeared in a promotional film about pottery in the 1950’s, that was shot in a studio set up at the Lambeth factory. Henk’s ancestors were from Germany and his great, great Grandfather came to the UK to work at Mintons. Henk was fond of literary characters and his character jugs reflect this interest and in fact it was he who first made a feature of the character jug handle.

Collecting Royal Doulton’s Hiawatha seriesware design.

It is not surprising to find this series at the start of the 20th Century as at this time there were tours by Native Americans to Europe and there was much interest in them and their way of life. Doulton’s series was introduced in 1908 and withdrawn in 1949, and whilst it is a long production period examples of this pattern are hard to find today, with rack plates the most easily found. In 1938 the border designs were given additional colouring, thus revamping the series. 

The fictional character Hiawatha from Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha is the tale of a Native American hero, although originally he was to be called Manabozho. Longfellow’s character was a medicine man, defender of and beacon for his people.

The name is taken from Hiawatha (Born: 1525 – Died: 1595) who was an early pre-colonial Native American leader and depending on differing sources, was a leader of the Onondaga, or the Mohawk or perhaps even both. 

As well as rack plates, chargers, tankards, tobacco jars and dressing table sets have been found featuring the five recorded designs that make up the range, all with appropriate Longfellow quotations often referring to Haiwatha’s wisdom or else his famous belt. The borders are typically elaborate for early designs and feature wigwams. 

Doulton’s John Hassall ware. 

Perhaps most famous for his advertising posters for the likes of Beecham’s Pills and Coleman’s Mustard, however Doulton collectors are perhaps more familiar with John Hassall’s ‘naughty children’ and ‘The Twins’ designs that feature on Lambeth wares such as jardinières, vases and flasks.

Doulton ware from Burslem can also be found bearing his designs including the ‘Hooked’ kingsware flask featuring a humorous fisherman and his catch. 

Hassall was known as the poster king at one point because of his advertising designs mentioned above, but also posters advertising popular tourist destinations here in the UK.

Collaborations between Hassall and Cecil Aldin can also be found, and these two artists were friends with Dudley Hardy, again another famous illustrator from the early 20th Century. 

Royal Doulton’s Mirabel figurine – a 1930’s classic! 

Introduced in 1935 in a large size, Mirabel was not only a popular name of the 30’s but with Doulton’s figurine of the same name she was a popular china figure too!Richly detailed and featuring Doulton’s famous attention to detail – so prevalent in this pre-war period, her success was assured.

Typical of 1930’s figures Mirabel was issued in a blue colourway as HN 1743 and a pink as HN 1944. Both were in production from 1935 to a withdrawal date recorded as ‘by 1949’. In my experience that ‘by 1949’ was much earlier and a more precise date would be ‘by 1944’ save for a small handful of Doulton’s most popular figurines of the time, which continued to be produced for the export markets. 

Again typical of the time, Mirabel’s popularity meant that a miniature version of her was added to Doulton’s M series one year later in 1936. Once again a withdrawal date of 1949 is given but I have not seen any examples later than 1943, so again ‘by 1944’ would be a fairer withdrawal date.

As has been illustrated by the secondary market, Doulton’s pink ladies were contemporary favourites with blue colourways much harder to track down and Mirable is no exception to this generalisation, with HN 1743 proving much harder to track down. 

No matter what your colour preference, Mirabel is a star personality in any collection due to her impressive size and modelling and displays excellently next to other Harradine favourites such as Sonia, Bonjour and Miss Demure! 

Edmund Dulac’s influence on Royal Doulton’s HN Collection.

EDMUND DULAC 1882 – 1953
Dulac was born in Toulouse, France. His artistic ability showed itself early on and drawings exist from his early teens. He won the 1901 and 1903 Grand Prix for his paintings submitted to annual competitions whilst at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. A scholarship took him to Paris and the Academie Julien where he stayed for three weeks. That same year (1904) he left for London and the start of a meteoric career. 

A chance happening across Dulac’s Picture Book for the French Red Cross (1915) led to the following discoveries:

BLUEBEARD HN75 issued in 1917. E W Light.

MANDERIN HN84 issued in 1918 .Charles Noke.


ONE OF THE FORTY HN417 issued in 1920. Harry Tittensor.

Dulac’s illustration above and others by him were used in an early 20th Century version of the popular takes 1001 Arabian Nights.

Also inspired by Dulac illustrations but not shown here is PRINCESS BADOURA HN2081 issued in 1952 again by Harry Tittensor.

Doulton ladies’ sleek 1930’s style! 

  If the 1920’s were typified by ‘Putting on the ritz’ then the 1930’s were about sleek lines and glamour. 

Typically, Doulton once again responded to the fashion of the times with a handful of designs inspired straight out of early 1930’s fashion magazines. Indeed we know that Mrs Harradine was a fan of a magazine called Britannia & Eve, as her husband based his figure Pamela on a cover girl from 1930. 

Even the names chosen for this select band of ladies represent their time, with stylish names such as Clothilde, Aileen and Gloria. 

Once again Doulton figures can be truly said to have represented their times, just as they had in the 1920’s with perennial favourites such as Pierette and Butterfly in their party costumes and as they would at the end of the 1930’s with Hollywood inspired glamour including The Mirror and Nadine.