The sheer variety of early figures in Royal Doulton’s HN collection illustrates the lengths that were gone to, to appeal to early collectors as the company tried to discover a popular house style.
Of course by the time the Masquerade pair appeared in 1924, the great Leslie Harradine had already been supplying models to the Burslem art studios for a few years.
During the early 20thC there was huge interest in masked and costume balls and the latter must have inspired this pairing and other Chelsea inspired figures from a bygone age in English china manufacturing.
‘Kissing’ Masqueraders HN 600 in china and HN 683 in earthenware.
Interestingly the two Doulton models’ bases fit so that the couple can kiss if the owner so wishes. They appear in this 1920’s figure catalogue titled Personalities and Porcelain along with a group of other early figures. Also of interest to note is that HN683 and HN 637 the last versions of each were actually made in earthenware rather than china like the other versions.
Typical of Doulton’s studios they also experimented with this pair and a handful of other figures, producing examples in burnished gold with ivory face and hand details, imitating gold/bronze and Ivory figurative sculptures from the art nouveau era.