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 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.
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.
Don’t forget – Sunday 8th November sees the second of 2015’s Doulton, Beswick and Moorcroft Pottery Fairs. at Tillington Hall Hotel, Stafford.
Simply print an image of this advert for free entry on Sunday 8th November!
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