The selection of bibelots or ashtrays as they were commonly known, that were produced at Lambeth, are today some of the most collected items of Lambethware.
Naturally their popularity and price depends on their ‘artistic’ value for there were countless such objects produced at Lambeth; some very plain examples, others for events, others for commercial advertising for numerous firms and still others designed by some of Lambeth’s most popular artists including Leslie Harradine, Vera Huggins, Harry Simmeon and no doubt others too that are unrecorded.
They date from the 1920’s to 1930’s but it is fair to say that some were made for a longer period and no doubt introduced earlier such as the Wrights Coal Tar Soap dragonfly dish.
The term bibelot is a derivative from the French, meaning a trinket or small fanciful object. One only needs to look at the subjects of these fanciful trays to see that this name suits these imps, nymphs, comic birds and other creatures very well.
Whatever your budget you can find examples of these trinket dishes to suit! For me this fanciful line of Lambethware displays perfectly alongside the many vases created by Doulton’s greats!
Simeon was the son of a monumental mason, which perhaps explains his everlasting interest in sculpture. Simeon moved from Huddersfield to London in 1896 when he started work at Doulton in Lambeth and also the year he won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art.
Simeon’s versatility cannot be denied when one looks at the variety of Lambeth wares he produced. Naturally there were many hand designed vases, but there were also late edition vases made between 1910 and 1925, as well as endearing Toby wares that he modelled that we’re introduced in 1925.
When one considers the wares with which his is now associated it is hard to believe that he criticised his own talent, describing it once as overly fussy and preferring the artistry of Mark Marshall’s often simplistic designs.
Joseph Mott, Lambeth’s art director in the early 20th Century had a particular interest in pottery of ages gone especially medieval pottery, encouraging Simeon to produce wares in this vein and also pots suitable for the many glaze effects trialled by Mott in the early part of the 20th Century.
Up until the end of Simeon’s association with Doulton in 1936, his style remained versatile, producing in the 1920’s designs for the Persian ware range and also a myriad of slip ware pieces in a colourful pallet.
His signature changed early on from a simple H.S. to his usual monogram pictured in the Doulton reference books.
These dramatic designs by William Rowe and Harry Simeon form part of a very limited range of Lambeth wares that fall under the heading Persianware and should not be confused with the seriesware pattern of the same name or earlier Persian style products from Lambeth.
Produced between 1919-22, these items are particularly hard to find and when they do turn up they cost a king’s ransom!
Painted in blue and green on a coarse body, items to be found in this ware are typically plaques measuring 13″ in diameter and vases in 3 or 4 typically Doulton shapes.
This Persianware has a special backstamp too.