Just a few pictures from the old figure museum on one of the last times I visited ca.2002.
Thank goodness I had the chance to visit many times as sadly it was sold off many years ago now.
Whilst the museum was built up in relatively recent times, the figures in it formed the basis of the original Doulton Figures Book in 1978. They were sought from all corners of the globe by Richard Dennis and his then assistant Jocelyn Lukins before she left to set up on her own.
Anyway, enough chat…here are a handful of pictures! Enjoy…..
Here are some pictures of an unusual Puff and Powder I once came across from Seaway China. She is decorated in the Bakst style like several of Harradine’s early figures of the 1920’s. Leon Bakst’s designs for the Ballet Russe were distinctive because of the use of contrasting fabrics placed together; something you can clearly see from this figure. Interestingly the piece is taken from a Raphael Tuck picture by Stanislaus Longley, an artist whose work Harradine regularly used as inspiration for figures but who is only credited with inspiring a handful of figures from the mid to late 1930’s rather than the 1920’s.
Here are the pictures to enjoy!
Arthur Perrins had a typically long association with Doulton & Co for his genreration; he began in the early 1940’s remaining with them until finally retiring in 1993. He was used to advertise Royal Doulton’s artistry over decades at some of the most prestigious stores in England including at the Doulton store at Harrods in London. Here are some pictures of Arthur at work, including a figure painting demonstration at Harrods in the early 1950’s. He is survived by his widow.
Arthur explaining the process involved in painting a Top o’ the hill ca. 1954
A Harrods display with Arthur demonstrating figure painting, again on a Top o’ the hill
Here is a link to some further pictures of Arthur at work on John Twigg’s excellent site about Doulton artists:
A page from a Doulton leaflet advertising their new Nursery Rhymes series in 1949
Some of Doulton’s earliest introductions to the HN range are inspired by lines from nursery rhymes. Consider Tittensor’s The Land of Nod HN56 or The Little Land HN63 also by Tittensor. In addition we have the very distinctive child models supplied to Doulton by Perugini in 1916, including Upon her Cheeks she Wept HN59, named after a line from Herrick’s “Upon Electra’s Tears” from the 17th Century.
Some of Doulton’s most popular nursery rhyme figures were created by Leslie Harradine and Peggy Davies. They are of course exquisitely modelled, as we would expect and are testament to the skill of all the Doulton artists involved in their production.
Here are some extracts from the same Doulton leaflet from 1949 advertising this new range of figures.
Leslie Harradine’s Once upon a time HN 2047 (above and below)
Peggy Davies’ Curly Locks HN2049 (above and below)
One final figure we can now add to this collection of Nursery Rhymes figures is this charming prototype for Miss Muffet, that no doubt did not go into production due to the success of Harradine’s earlier Miss Muffet HN1936 and HN1937.
The idea of Nursey Rhyme inspired figures has continued into recent times with a new collection by Adrian Hughes from the 1980’s.
A collection of these Nursery Rhymes figures makes an eye catching display and evokes all those pleasant memories of childhood as we recollect those charming lines from our favourite nursery rhymes.
This original illustration is by the popular illustrator Jennie Harbour and clearly is the source for Tittensor’s Lady and Blackamoor. Interestingly this example spotted at the Seaway China/Whitley event in Detroit 2009, is modelled as a powder bowl and the base separates from the rest to provide a place for the powder and puff! The colouring of HN375 is identical to that of HN374, but the former indicates that it is modelled as a powder bowl.
Illustration by Jennie Harbour ‘Powder and Patches’.
And here is the rare Lady and Blackamoor HN375 to compare to the original.
I thought it would be of interest to collectors to see this colourway of Harry Tittensor’s Pretty Lady originally introduced in 1920 together with the inspiration for this special lady. This particular colourway, just discovered, is exceptional and really evokes the textile patterns of the original ilustration, which are so typical of this time when there was a revival in such romanticism and also pre-raphaelite art.
The rare Pretty Lady and Artur Rackham’s “Wendy”. Below is a rear view of the Doulton figure that really does show how true to the original illustration, Doulton have tried to be.
Many thanks to Harvey’s Collectables for the pictures of Pretty Lady.
A treat for fellow figure collectors is this early version of Easter Day by Leslie Harradine, modelled after a still of Vivienne Leigh in ‘Gone with the Wind’ from 1938 when the actress played Scarlet O’Hara. The actual version of this figure that went into production in 1945 was accurate in almost every detail to the photograph that has previously been listed here!