Category Archives: History

Doulton’s great British bulldogs

Inspired by a recent post to our facebook page, here is a little something on Doulton’s perennially popular Bulldogs!
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Doulton’s most famous figure, The Old Balloon Seller with her Bulldog ca. 1938.
Royal Doulton’s bulldog models have been on ‘active service’ since 1917 and are collectively the most collected canine model produced by Royal Doulton. When one considers the diversity of bulldog pieces to collect, we quickly understand their popularity. The bulldog was originally kept for bull baiting here in England, but this was abolished in 1838 and since this time, the bulldog has been
bred into a much tamer breed.

The bulldog’s association with all things British and of course lately the world of James Bond, stems from the two world wars of the twentieth century. In 1917, Royal Doulton produced a large khaki Bulldog, seated with either a tin hat or a tam o’shanter (cap) representing the uniforms of English and Scottish soldiers during the First World War.

 

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Bulldog in khaki with tam o’shanter.

In 1941, Royal Doulton went on to produce a series of seated Bulldogs with union jacks draped on their backs, representing and helping to promote the national feeling during this difficult period in history.

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Bulldog with union flag.

A further two models of Bulldogs were produced at this time representing Winston Churchill, the famous British wartime leader and
national hero, wearing different headgear and smoking his familiar cigar!

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Above and below, two more Winston Churchill inspired bulldogs.

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Versions of bulldogs draped in union jack flags were actually produced earlier as advertising flasks for alcohol retailers. There are other very rare variations of Doulton bulldogs to be found including one with an eye patch and another in a Khaki glaze with the familiar union jack on its back.

Some of the rarest bulldogs to find include bulldog flasks, a very unusual wall pocket and also bulldogs mounted on pottery boxes. It is thus not surprising to see that this famous Doulton hero has been adopted as the spirit of British survival and given a starring role in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, where he survives an assassination attempt on ‘M’ in London, England.

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And finally, a wonderful flambé bulldog.

As always many thanks to Seaway China for the use of their photo library. CE.

Doulton’s Titanian ware

There were two great Doulton art factories in the 1920’s, with others factories both in the UK and in Europe too where more utilitarian goods such as Doulton drainpipes and sanitaryware were produced.

In Burslem, where figure production had been revived, Doulton’s Art Director, C. J. Noke was simultaneously keen to establish and indeed re-discover many of the ancient Chinese transmutation glazes of yesteryear. He had already re-discovered, introduced to the public in 1904 at the St. Louis Exhibition and by the 1920’s firmly established the world famous Doulton Flambé glazes but Noke together with his team of assistants continued experimenting with glazes and bodies so that today we have other glaze wares including Chang, Chinese Jade and of course Titanian to collect.

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The diversity of Titanianwares from handpainted, to glaze, to seriesware.

The unique Titanian glaze uses a titanium oxide which results in a bluey colour and pieces of Titanian ware can vary from white to dark blue glazes.

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An unusual Titanian vase illustrating the varied colour of this glaze.

It was often used as the background to Doulton’s fine porcelain wares that were painted with typically birds but also oriental figures and flowers by leading artists including Harry Allen, F. Henri and Harry Tittensor.

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A charming Titanian vase and owl, handpainted.

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A group of desireable, floral Titanian vases.

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A typical Titanian vase signed F. Allen.

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A tall Titanian vase with a Bird of Paradise design.

Doulton’s seriesware was also in some instances given a Titanian glaze including the Sunset with Poplars range and of course the Tutankhamen set commemorating the opening of the Egyptian King’s tomb in the early 1920’s.

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A Titanian lidded sugar commemorationg the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Figures too were given the Titanian treatment and three of the rarest figures today are commonly found in Titanian when they occasionally do turn up, namely the Australian and New Zealand Digger figures and their British counterpart Blighty – all issued at the end of the first world war.

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The rare Blighty in a Titanian glaze.

The body of Titanian pieces can vary immensely from an egg-shell like porcelain to a heavy earthenware. This diversity in body is reflected in the price range for these wares, but this in turn allows varied scope for collectors today.

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Here is a heavily gilden earthenware Titanian rose bowl.

My own particular tastes when it comes to Titanian are for the unusual shapes and glaze effects rather than the handpainted items. The Titanian glaze was introduced in 1915 and in production until ca.1930  and so pieces of Titanian ware can be found if you have a keen eye or if you have a dealer onside who will search these pieces out.

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A catalogue page from 1924 illustrating the types of pieces that appeal to me.

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A group of interesting shaped Titanian vases.

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Above and below a lustred Titanian dish with butterfly.

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As always, if you have pieces in your collections please share via our Doulton Collectors Club facebook page!

 

 

 

 

 

Doulton for the garden

Just when you think the house is full of all things Doulton and where else can you possibly place new bits…let’s take a look at some neat ideas for the garden.

Throughout the world there is famous Doulton statuary recognising the famous, as well as great occasions, but Doulton were keen that everyone should be able to decorate their own gardens with their products.

Thus Doulton produced all manner of garden ornamentation for us to now seek out and fill our own green havens with.

Here is one piece I have called ‘Reflections of Childhood’ but I am sure many of you will instantly recognise it as simply a large version of Leslie Harradine’s ‘Child Study’ HN 603.

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This was a particular traite of the garden ornament selection, as other figures but also animals were re-modelled in larger scale so as to suit a garden setting. Here are a selection of catalogue pages dating from 1928 to the mid 1930’s where you can see other such examples.

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Not surprisingly garden fountains, sundials and all manner of other garden ornamentation were also made and here are a few more examples …

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What better way to enjoy your Doulton than in the summer sun and here we have another area for us all to collect!

The former Doulton Museum at Nile Street

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…..

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Speaking of colourways of Doulton figures….here are a few more examples to enjoy!

Just a few more colourways, prototypes and rare figures to share with you all! Thanks once again to Seaway China for the use of their pictures too!

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An unusual Guy Fawkes

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A very different Orange Vendor

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The rare HN1563 version of Sweet and Twenty

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Abdullah in red

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A nice version of Repose in yellow

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Mam’selle in a typical 1920’s colouring

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A nice Deirdre dated 1947 that I once had

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Polly Peachum in grey

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A charming Ballerina prototype from the 1960’s

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An elaborately painted Young Love

 

And that’s all for colourways and prototypes for today!! Enjoy and keep hunting!

C

Doulton for Doulton’s sake!

With a book devoted specifically to this field of collecting and others by Jocelyn Lukins covering advertising wares made and Lambeth and Burslem also available via Paul Webster Antiques, I thought I would share some interesting pieces I have come across where Doulton have produced items for their own publicity.

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A pair of small Lambeth jugs early 20th Century

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A similar vase to the two jugs above, again early 20th Century

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An unusual jug produced as an example of Doulton’s stoneware

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A miniature tradesman’s sample of an early Doulton belfast sink

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A pot from the Lambeth Art Dept. that ‘escaped’ at some point!

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An interesting Burslem piece this time, for Sanitary ware and the London Showroom

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Carrara ware pieces occasionally turn up including the Mark Marshall Seahorse or Harradine’s Polar bear, but I have never seen this piece again. It is almost a scarab design. Whatever it might be it is certainly art nouveau in style.

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Doulton drainpipes this time; here we have an ashtray with a central pipe. We must all pay hommage to these simple drainpipes, as it was they and other utilitarian wares that funded the art department at Lambeth for so long!

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One of my favourite finds! An early sample of the conduit used in the London underground.

I am sure we would all love to hear from collectors with other unusual Doulton advertising wares, so join our facebook page ‘Doulton Collectors Club’ and post pictures for us all to see!!

A short video to advertise my book Reflection – Royal Doulton figures as a reflection of their times

Follow this link for a sample of pages and a brief explanation of the book!

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