Category Archives: C. J. Noke

Noke the artist! 

Collectors forget that Noke despite his excellent reputation as a modeller was also an accomplished artist. Signed pieces are hard to come by as is highlighted by the fact that each of these bowls – the largest 23cm diameter – was purchased on separate occasions. 

  
I had previously believed that they could have been the work of Noke junior but the largest piece can be dated to 1918, prior to his commencement and training at Doulton. 

Collecting Doulton’s famous Gnomes ‘B’ seriesware.

  
9″ plate D4697.

Often referred to as the Doulton version of Wedgwood’s famous Fairyland Lustreware, the Gnomes pattern illustrated is derived from drawings by the great illustrator Arthur Rackham for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, which also provided the inspiration for Doulton’s early figurine Pretty Lady who is based on an illustration for Wendy. The designer of this Doulton pattern is of course Charles Noke, then Art Director at Doulton’s Burslem factory.

  
Unusual rectangular plate.

Introduced c.1925 it is a perennially popular pattern that collectors clamour for when it does turn up at auction or through dealers. Although in production until c.1950 examples of it are hard to find and typically teawares are what do turn up in the form of plates and trios.

 
Early catalogue page featuring Gnomes ‘B’. 

There are five recorded scenes as listed by Louise Irvine in her book Series Ware Vol.3, although again it is scene 1 which is the most frequently found, again on plates.

  
Unusual sandwich tray. 

As with all seriesware patterns, a collection  masterly displayed makes quite a statement in the home! 

  
Rare oatmeal bowl with unusual, plain border. 

For reference, there are 3 recorded D numbers for this pattern – D4697, D4899 and D5066 and this ‘B’ pattern is not to be confused with the earlier ‘A’ pattern. Also, in the USA it is referred to as ‘Munchkins’. 

The International Ceramics and Glass Fair and 200 Years of Royal Doulton – an event not to be missed!

Don’t forget the world’s major Doulton extravaganza is just around the corner!

To reserve your tickets visit icgfair.com

And follow this link-
https://www.facebook.com/events/489880474484013/

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Remember, remember the 5th of November….

…gunpowder, treason and plot!

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I’m sure there isn’t a British adult who does not remember the story of Guy Fawkes and his failed attempt to blow up Parliament when in session and thus return a Catholic monarch to the throne. Since his capture on the 5th November 1605 we have celebrated this event annually with large bonfires with a ‘Guy’ atop.
Despite his grizzly end, Guy or Guido Fawkes has been immortalised on many occasions by Royal Doulton in their most popular collections.

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One of the first is this large figure designed by Noke himself and available in 3 colourways as well as a modern miniature. I have always thought there must be a picture to go with this figure but to date nothing identical has turned up, save the typical illustrations of him since the foiled plot, such as this one. There has been a newer version of a Guy Fawkes illustrated above HN4784.

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Noke’s love of historical characters and events resulted in this wonderful addition to his range of limited edition loving cups and jugs introduced in the 1930’s, complete with detailed description to the base!

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And of course he has also been immortalised in Character Jug form too!

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Who would have thought that centuries later we would be celebrating this event and a man who was convicted of treason?

An interesting Kingsware Loving Cup.

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Another chance find- this Kingsware loving cup from 1905 complete with sterling silver mounts and standing an impressive 13″ tall. No doubt made to commemorate England’s new monarch Edward VII, who succeeded his mother Queen Victoria to the throne in 1901. The cup is emblazoned with the motto “Here’s a health unto his Majesty”. The cup was later adapted to a jug in 1936, to commensurate the approaching coronation of Edward VIII, that of course never happened due to his abdication. This flask version was made for Dewars in a limited edition of 600.

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The magnificence of the loving cup has to be seen in the flesh to be appreciated. Certainly the detail is much more vivid than in the later flask, the latter is also missing the cameo image of the Cavalier.

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Interestingly the sterling silver mounts are stamped G B & S, for George Betjeman & sons, a prestigious London silversmiths, who commissioned many Doulton Burslem pieces including a Kingsware spirit barrel with tavern scene, Kingsware tobacco jars including the large pipe that can be found and smaller Kingsware ash trays – all with sterling silver mounts supplied by them. In addition to Kingsware, they also commissioned Shagreen items from Doulton for their exclusive store too.

Collecting Royal Doulton Embossed Jugs

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We have already looked at Royal Doulton’s ever popular series of a Limited Edition Loving Cups and Jugs, and this series of 7 smaller jugs fit perfectly with their larger, rarer counterparts.
First introduced in the same decade as the larger Jugs and Cups, this set of 7 bear out Charles Noke’s passion for Dickens.

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Here are the details for this charming set:
D5584 “Old Curiosity Shop” 1935-60
D5617 “Oliver Twist” 1936-60
D5756 “Pickwick Papers” 1937-60
D6285 “Oliver Asks For More” 1949-60
D6286 “Oliver Twist” tankard 1949-60
D6291 “Old London” 1949-60
D6292 “Peggoty” 1949-60

As always the last ones with the shorter production runs are the most difficult to find today, but a full collection is possible and they make a super display.
There were other relief or embossed Dickens wares but that is for another time! Happy collecting!

Royal Doulton’s Fairies

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A catalogue page from 1930.

These sprightly, mythical creatures of many a folklore were immortalised by the great Leslie Harradine for the HN collection in 1930, but interest in all things ‘fairy’ had reached a fever pitch a decade before with the so-called Cottingley fairies; a series of 5 photographs of fairies taken by two young cousins and heralded by Arthur Conan Doyle (author of the Sherlock Holmes stories) as evidence of their existence. Alas the cousins would admit eventually that all but the fifth was faked and that, it has been suggested, was probably the result of a double exposure by the young girls.

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Doulton produced at least 7 different figures of fairies from standing with wings, to perched on toadstools to simply hiding in the undergrowth. Each is a charming study of childhood and many were available with differing flowers and even different colourways during their short production in the 1930’s. Certainly the second and sixth versions are the same child as ‘Boy on Pig’ HN1369 attributed to CJ Noke rather than Harradine. There are a further 6 fairies listed but which did not go into production.

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Doulton’s Fairies HN1396 and HN1375 were even modelled after the fairy illustrations of Cicely Mary Barker that remain popular to this day.

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A display of these figures really is magical, however, tracking them down is just as elusive as finding the real thing…or so it seems!

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Finally a Fairy that has fluttered down on to my desk….