Category Archives: Art nouveau

The WMODA exhibition ‘A flair for fashion’.

I’ve just had some extra pictures of the current exhibition at the WMODA housed at the Gallery of Amazing Things that I thought would interest us all!
The sheer breadth of exhibits is to be marvelled but for me it is the massive array of Doulton wares that interests me most!
Here are a few pictures of the figures currently on display as part of the Flair for Fashion exhibition! Enjoy!!

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Doulton’s fluttering butterflies.

The Camberwell Beauty tile panel.

Since Victorian times butterflies have been a popular collecting field; from actual examples, to jewellery, to pottery – examples can be readily found.
As a follower of fashion it is no surprise to find many examples of butterflies throughout Doulton’s many ranges. Some of the earliest can be found on their Faience ware produced at Lambeth and this body and style of decoration perfectly suits the beauty of these fragile creatures!

Above and below a vase and detail by Frances Linnell dated 1877.

On the larger size is the famous Camberwell Beauty (above) which even today decorates the side of a building in Camberwell, London. On the smaller size are the Lambeth vases decorated with Butterflies under the pattern number X8725 and this charming bibelot by Harry Simmeon (often mistakenly attributed to Mark Mashshall) that I have in my own collection.


There are also an array of Burslem butterflies to collect – from floating flower bowl clips which can be found mounted on stumps too, to brooches, to tea wares, to serieswares.

Three Butterfly clips for bowls and vases ca.1920.

Detail of a seriesware pattern that was also used in art wares from the Robert Allen studio.

For me the most wonderful Butterfly created by Doulton was the stylish figure of a girl in a butterfly costume designed by Leslie Harradine from 1925 and available in 5 colourways.

Harradine’s Butterfly HN719.

This figure was inspired by a costume design as Jocelyn and I originally revealed in our book Reflections. Another Butterfly is of course Harradine’s Fairy HN1324 with her butterfly wings!

A favourite Fairy butterfly of mine.

In more recent times Doulton was keen to revisit past successes and so we have Peter Gee’s lovely figure Isadora and also the Prestige Butterfly Ladies Collection by the wonderful Valerie Annand.

Collecting Doulton Christening Cups.

A selection of Christening cups made at Lambeth from the 19th Century – early 20th Century.

When I first saw these cups due to be auctioned this weekend, I was reminded once again of the diversity of Doulton, but also the diversity of collectors too! Here once again is a novel collecting theme!


The Christening cup is a typical Christening gift for a baby and whilst more well-to-do families may have chosen silver examples, these personalised stoneware cups were no doubt more modestly priced in comparison. These mini works of art have obviously been cherished over the decades and remain as evidence of their original owners. How wonderful would it be to trace the original owners?


Many thanks to the Potteries Auctions for use of these photos from their sale on Sunday 26th October.

Royal Doulton’s Alchemists.

Sung and Chang catalogues featuring an alchemist figure.

Since the earliest times of Doulton’s art studios in Burslem, we have seen a procession of objects reflecting our continued fascination with alchemy.

A Kingsware Alchemist jug.

A fantastic Sung Alchemist style plaque sold at Bonhams.

Be it the search for the fabled philosopher’s stone, the elixir of life or the ability to turn base metals into gold – the slightest possibility that these may be possible has kept us gripped, as we can trace from literature’s fascination with it too from Shakespeare’s plays right up to J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books.

The Alchemist from the HN Collection.

Another portrayal of an Alchemist on an art nouveau Holbein vase.