Here at last is the newest member of Royal Doulton’s legendary Bunnykins family The Fair Jester.
The Fair Jester a DCC exclusive for 2017.
Royal Doulton’s Bunnykins characters have been entertaining us since 1934 and this summer The Fair Jester will be the Doulton Collectors Club fair exclusive at the summer Doulton show (11th June 2017) being held at the World Of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton’s home.
Here The Fair Jester sits perfectly with other members of the Bunnykins family.
Issued in a limited edition of 300, The Fair Jester comes with a certificate of authenticity carrying each individual Bunnykins’ serial number and he is presented in a typical Bunnykins box.
The Fair Jester (Ltd Ed 300).
To reserve this new Bunnykins figure, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing you at the June event!
Collectors of Royal Doulton’s world famous figurines are aware of the many sources that inspired figures from stars of the theatre, to calendar and card designs published by the likes of Raphael Tuck & sons.
However, one particular star of Royal Doulton’s HN range was inspired by the great actress Vivien Leigh in her role in the legendary film Gone with the Wind in which she played Scarlett O’Hare.
Here you can see a press cutting along with an early dated version of Easter Day from 1943; incidentally two years after she was originally modelled. Also in the picture is a very similar looking prototype from 1942 that I display along side the large size figure.
For collectors the beauty of Royal Doulton is the diversity of its wares. When it comes to collecting tobacco jars this statement is particularly pertinent!
Tinworth designed tobacco jar and a Tinworth menu holder c.1885.
Whether you prefer the products of the Lambeth factory or the pottery examples from their Staffordshire factories – there is something to suit every collector.
Four Lambeth examples: Chiné, simulated metal, Silicon and an art nouveau example.
Lambeth examples can be found by leading artists including the legendary George Tinworth, to repeat designs created by leading in-house artists, to more mass produced examples including Doulton’s famous Chiné technique. Rare novelty examples also exist such as the one illustrated modelled as a weight!
Burslem examples: two Kingsware jars featuring Mr Pickwick and Parson Brown, a Reco Capey example and a seriesware Barnaby Rudge piece.
Pottery examples from Burslem typically fit into the following categories: art wares, Kingsware or seriesware as can be seen above.
Collecting tobacciana is a worldwide phenomenon so it is no surprise to see rare examples fetch high prices but a collection can be assembled of more modest varieties of Doulton wares such as the Chiné or Silicon examples above.
Or rather where the then new figure range began in 1913 – is perhaps how that heading should read.
Darling in his original size with HN 1 at the fore, the HN 1371 and of course the more frequently found HN 1319.
In reality Darling was not the first figure in the HN collection but due to Queen Mary’s famous christening of him with her statement “Isn’t he a darling” – he was given the prestigious number 1 in the new number sequence.
Typical early base, this time belonging to HN 1. Note the actual number of figures painted on the inside ‘349’!
Designed by Charles Vyse who would later inspire Doulton’s famous balloon sellers, Darling was produced in his original size of 19cm in four colourways – HN 1 in a pale blue grey nightshirt, HN 1319 in a white nightshirt with black base and then HN 1371 and 1372 in green and pink nightshirts respectively and both with black bases. Of all these originally size models it is HN 1371 and 1372 which are the particularly rare examples.
In the post WWII period Darling was remodelled in the now smaller and most familiar size of 13cm as HN 1945 and remained in production as such until 1997. A lovely additional version of him HN 3613 for Peter Jones the China specialist was introduced to mirror the original HN 1 colouring in 1993.
Only one further model of this charming young boy has been produced and that was for Royal Doulton’s 200th Anniversary Icons series as HN 5648 in a smaller size again of 10cm!
The now mid size Darling HN 3613 with his smaller Icons series counterpart HN 5648, pictured against the first figure booklet from 1913. Note the reference to Queen Mary and ‘Now at Buckingham Palace’!
All in all Darling proved to be the first of one of Royal Doulton’s most popular collecting themes when it comes to figures – children!
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.
We are all familiar with the story of the “Lady with the lamp” who visited the wounded soldiers in Scutari during the Crimean War – a celebrity created by the press during the Crimean war when the public needed a heroine to divert from current realities.
Florence Nightingale HN 3144 and her inspiration.
Florence came to prominence while serving as a nurse and manager during the Crimean War, where she organised the tending to of wounded soldiers. Her tremendous efforts during the Crimean War brought nursing a favourable reputation and she herself became an icon of Victorian culture, as the lady of the lamp.
The Young Miss Nightingale HN 2010 by Peggy Davies from her Period Figures in English History range. This piece reminds us that Florence was also a a young lady of rank and wealth, who spent much time on the continent.
As is typical, posthumously there has been much debate about the legacy Florence has left but in terms of nursing alone her legacy is still great with the Nightingale pledge taken by nurses and also a medal named after her.
This interpretation of the Queen of Edward III belongs to a wonderful series of Ladies from English History that were among the first of Peggy Davies’ models produced by Rpyal Doulton after WWII.
She ruled at a time when chivalry and pageantry filled the English court. Her husband and son, the Black Prince were men of war. Their captives the Kings of France and of Scotland were treated according to their rank, valour and misfortune – something that was attributed to her influence!
That she is remembered for her gentleness and clemency is illustrated by the tale of her pleading for the lives of six citizens of Calais when the town fell.
The Royal Doulton series of Period Figures in English History was made up of six personalities and was available for a short period (1948-53) and are all considered rare today!
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.
Title page of an early figure catalogue.
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.
A burnished gold HN636 Masquerade.
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.
Masquerade (female) HN 600.
‘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.
Masquerade HN 599 & 636.
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.
A chance find of a portrait plaque featuring a well known portrait of Sir Henry Doulton has inspired this piece.
Doulton’s Photographic ware is rare with examples dating between 1893-1905 approximately.
Early plate with a photographic image of Joseph Joachim, a popular violinist.
The method of transferring a photographic image on to transfer paper for application on to a china body was developed by John Slater and examples usually carry a simple Doulton mark and also the predictable “Slater’s Patent” stamp.
A pair of early Slater’s Patent photographic plates (subjects unknown).
Subjects range from famous stage personalities of the time to other period celebrities.