Category Archives: Illustrator

Royal Doulton’s very own Darby and Joan

We are all no doubt familiar with the archetypical image of an old couple living out their time together quite contentedly and of course that is where the label ‘Darby and Joan’ originates.

Royal Doulton’s great modeller Leslie Harradine will certainly have been familiar with the many paintings and images of this famous pair including this image….

…with its stark similarities to his figures. As you can see both Harradine’s figures and the figures in the painting are dressed in 18C dress and it is from this time that the saying was in common use.

Darby HN 1427 and Joan HN 1422, both dates 1930.

This charming pair were introduced in 1930 and withdrawn at some point during WWII, before being reintroduced with a band of their most popular figures with a new HN number and paired down detail in the modelling. The latter were in production from 1949-59.

Collecting H. M. Bateman’s illustrations on Doulton seriesware! 

Henry Mayo Bateman was an Australian illustrator, most famous for his cartoons captioned ‘the man who….’. 

 These illustrations featured a haphazard man who continually ‘puts his foot in it’ as we say here in the UK, meaning that he commits the most awkward gaffes! 

  His cartoons were featured in leading magazines of the period including The Tatler and Sketch. 

  Returning to his seriesware illustrations they are termed as rare among collectors who appreciate the humour of his scenes and when they do turn up even on small items they regularly reach three figure sums! His designs on Doultonware feature a facsimile signature and from experience date to 1937-8.

Collecting Harry Rowntree’s rare Doulton designs.

Harry Rowntree,illustrator, hailed from New Zealand where he also trained as a lithographer. Rowntree subsequently moved to England but struggled for a time until commissioned to illustrate a children’s animal book with which he found his forté and of course great success!  


Rowntree’s designs of animals and particularly birds are instantly recognisable and whilst his illustrative work was prolific his Doulton designs are very hard to find! The vase dates to 1921-3 whilst the pin tray is D4430 c.1924.