Royal Doulton’s William Wordsworth Loving Cup! 

  Doulton’s 1933 tribute to William Wordsworth (1770-1850), produced to commemorate his being made poet laureate, is among the most rare of the Loving Cups and Jugs first produced by Doulton in the 1930’s. The range of Loving Cups and Jugs was the brainchild of Charles Noke, Doulton’s famous Art Director at their Nile Street studios.

   

The enduring popularity of Doulton’s Limited Edition Loving Cups and Jugs lies in the quality and decoration afforded to each by Doulton’s leading artists. No attention to detail was spared and even the bases of these jugs are an art work in themselves! 

  
The Wordsworth Loving Cup was modelled by Noke himself and it bears his signature to the body. The cup features a portrait of the poet below a view of Grasmere Church, his final resting place, around the rim and on the other side a portrait of his sister Dorothy below Dove cottage, her home that he once shared. Both locations can be found in Grasmere in the Lake District in the UK. 

  
Wordsworth is forever remembered for his beautiful poetry and among his admirers was one Henry Doulton, who after meeting Wordsworth commented that the latter was the most ‘…potent force in the poetry of the 19th Century…’.

  

Doulton’s Burns Night specials! 

With Burns Night about to be celebrated around the world, I decided it was time to look at Doulton’s commemoratives to Scotland’s national hero.  

  
Robert Burns scenes 2 & 3, with Scotch Girl HN 1269.

A Burns supper is a celebration of the life and poetry of the Scottish poet Robert Burns. Burns suppers are usually held on or near the poet’s birthday, 25 January and the occasion is more commonly known as Burns Night.  
 Burns seriesware plate Pattern C.

A piper generally greets the guests and everyone stands as the main course is brought in – haggis.   
Pattern A scene 1.

Doulton’s love of all things Scotch is apparent from the number of Scottish scenes featured on their famous hand painted wares by leading artists; the Figures in their HN collection in national dress and of course the many Scottish themed series in their series ware collection. 

  
Handpainted vase with Dryburgh Abbey in the Borders by Plant. 

  
 Miniature Burns seriesware pattern B jug.

Burns can himself be found immortalised in the HN collection and also tributes to him are plentiful in the series ware range with three different patterns. 

  
Robert Burns HN 3641.

From boys to men – collecting Royal Doulton’s male figures! 

Whenever people mention Doulton figures, damsels in large crinolines are what most non-collectors think of. Of course collectors know this not to be the case, but a simple look through the collectors’ bible ‘Royal Doulton Figures’ illustrates exactly how many male characters were produced over the years!

  
Three versions of Noke’s The Cobbler from the musical Chu-Chin-Chow which ran for a once record number of 2000 performances after opening in 1916, together with Cassim.

When the HN collection was launched in 1913 Charles Noke, Art Director, incorporated a handful of his own earlier Vellum figure studies including jesters and eastern musicians into his new collection. In addition to his own designs, he drew on other sculptors to build up interest and prestige for Doulton’s new venture. 

Where else do we need to begin than with HN 1 Darling by the renowned potter Charles Vyse, which started a popular theme of child figures into the range that has continued right up to today!

  
Darling (HN 1371 after the original HN 1) surrounded by later 1930’s and 1940’s boy figures. 

We have already mentioned eastern characters and there were a slew of them introduced into the early HN collection, reflecting popular interest at the time and also a love of the theatre – another major theme in the HN collection. 

Characters from literature can also be found including Shakespeare’s Falstaff and Cassim from 1001 Arabian Nights, which also influenced other introductions such as Baba and Abdullah. 

 

Falstaff HN 1606 (1st version). 
Doulton’s famous street sellers also feature many male characters from the familiar Balloon Man HN 1954 to the more modern Punch and Judy Man HN 2765.

Royal Doulton’s “Prestige” range contained many male subjects from Jack Point to King Charles, all of which were re-introductions with simplified decoration from the early HN Collection. 

  
Illustration from an early catalogue showing his original price too!

Men also feature in many of the early double figures such as The Rustic Swain, Tête-à-tête and The Court Shoemaker. Just as WWII was beginning a new handful of male figures emerged including the rare duo of The Corinthian and Regency Beau, which although attributed to Harry Fenton, it has been suggested that they may have been the idea of the great Leslie Harradine. 

  
The rare duo The Corinthian and Regency Beau. 

Male figures can be found across the HN range and also in the later M series when the many miniature Dickens figures were added to it too. Plus, just as with Doulton’s ladies, colourways and variations do crop up including this bone china version of Lambing Time dated 1938 and painted by Harry Allen’s expert hand. 

  
A bone china colourway of Lambing Time dated 1938.

 Once again whatever your particular interest there is sure to be something by Royal Doulton to satisfy your collecting habit!