Hispano Moresque was one of John Slater’s first successes at Doulton’s Nile Street works in the early 1880s.
At the time Doulton at Nile Street only had an earthenware body to use as a medium, which fortunately suited Slater’s revival of the centuries old Hispano Moresque tradition of lustre painting.
Often examples of this red lustre ware can be identified by an ‘Art Ware’ mark in addition to either a typical early Doulton rosette backstamp or simply an impressed Doulton. In addition you can often find an impressed Faience mark on such early pieces.
As well as being an artist John Slater was something of an innovator and collectors will be well aware of many pieces of Burslem and Lambeth ware bearing the term ‘Slater’s Patent’ including Doulton’s famous Chiné ware.
Precise production dates of Hispano Moresque are unknown although it is estimated that unlike its contemporary ‘Spanish ware’, the former’s production was limited to the 1880s.
Two drakes and a duck in the medium size c.6″.
Birds featured heavily in the earliest items produced as part of Royal Doulton’s famous HN Collection, which for a generation means simply their legendary figure collection.
A selection of small size drakes and ducks.
The earliest models produced for the range in 1913 were actuallyanimals and there are collectors out there who have managed to source some wondrous and rare examples of these animals.
A further early illustration of medium size mallards, including a spill vase version HN2544.
Doulton themselves were somewhat easygoing when it came to actually naming their animals correctly and occasional slips by them are easily excusable when you see the quality of detail and modelling that was achieved so early on in the 20th century.
A rare and early duck.
When talking about ducks, there are typically large, medium and small examples tombe found of most, although rare character figures of ducks exist such as the example illustrated. Moreover, the large size was added to the Presige range.
A large size ‘Drake’ and Penguin from 1938.
Typically later HN numbers simply refer to modified decoration and some later post WWII examples are very similar to much earlier productions.
A 1920 publicity photograph featuring some of Doulton’s bird models.
Nothing says Christmas quite like Father Christmas and Royal Doulton were astute enough to introduce a range of miniatures featuring Santa into their Seriesware range as early as 1904.
You can see from this 1905 advert that Doulton’s then advertising team were suggesting these miniatures could replace the sending of Christmas cards for the diminutive sum of one shilling in old money.
In total there were six Father Christmas scenes and a further two festive scenes of a turkey and geese that Louise Irvine in her Seriesware books has called Festive Fare. You can see an unusual turkey coal skuttle in the main picture and another angle of it below, yet the even more unusual geese I have only seen in blue and white rather than in what we might call festive colourings.
In terms of borders the Santa pieces have either bells or holly, whereas the turkey and geese images typically have a mixture of mistletoe and holly.
These two series had short production runs; the outbreak of WWI ceased their productions.
Merry Christmas to all! 🎄
2016 marks 150 years since the birth of the legendary Beatrix Potter, arguably one of the most beloved children’s authors in the world. Her enchanting stories of Peter Rabbit and friends have captured children’s imaginations since Peter first appeared in 1902.
The notion of creating China figures of her characters first came from Ewart Beswick and his wife while holidaying in the Lake District – a location close to the author’s heart. The first model produced was based on Jemima Puddleduck and was swiftly followed by other models created by the Beswick artist Arthur Gredington.
Jemima was joined by Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten and Mrs Tittlemouse among many others!
The production of Beatrix Potter figures and other inspired wares was not only completed by Beswick but by Royal Albert and others.
As with all collectibles, one piece is swiftly joined by another and so the popularity of Beatrix’s charming characters continues to spread throughout the world.
My thanks to Seaway China for use of their images.
For a comprehensive selection of Beatrix Potter figures, visit