This the first version of Diana is typical of a handful of pre-war figures that were issued again after the war. The special point about Diana is that she was issued in a totally different colourway, unlike others such as Peggy HN1941/2038 or Jean.
Three versions of Diana HN1716, 1717 and 1986.
This model was in production from 1935 to 1975, proving as if it were needed, the popular appeal of Harradine’s figures. The two earlier versions were withdrawn from production by 1944 and the last version HN1986 was introduced with the updated range of figures once production of Doulton’s famous figures re-commenced in 1946 and remained in production until 1975.
As you can see from the pictures above the only real change between the earlier and later versions, is the position of Diana’s feet, giving her a totally different direction to face!
Here are some publicity shots from the late 1940’s explaining the production process for this popular lady.
1. Pouring the liquid clay into the moulds to form the cast models.
2. Picture of the moulds for her component parts.
3. Close up of a moulded face and head.
4. Once the figure is assembled any additions are added; in this case hand modelled flowers.
5. At this point the figure is allowed to dry, then it is fired turning it into biscuit china. The size of the figure reduces dramatically at this stage. The figure is then dipped by hand into a specially prepared glaze.
6. The figure is then placed in a fire-proof saggar to be fired.
7. From this stage the figure is decorated by hand.
We are no doubt all familiar with the finished product as she has always been popular with collectors.
Interestingly Harradine based his model on a painting by Stanislaus Longley and I have seen an early version of the figure without the basket and instead of holding a rose she is holding a ball of mistletoe.
As you know I always love to discover the inspirations for our favourite Doulton figures. Here is another that didn’t make the final cut for Jocelyn’s and my book ‘Reflections’. It is itself a figurine but this time a wax figure by Agatha Walker that she produced as part of her series of figures from the stage in the 1920’s, imitating a popular tradition from the 19th Century. These figures were made of plaster, then coated in wax and finally painted.
Typically Harradine has put his own flourishes to the finished figure including a parasol and changing the direction of Anthea’s head.
Courtesy of Bonhams.
Courtesy of Seaway China.
To date I have found only one other Agatha Walker figure that Harradine used, but that’s for another time!
….and three would be a crowd.
This charming prototype dating to around 1950, I first spotted just a couple of months ago having never seen the model before. At the time I took a picture to add to records, not expecting another version of her to crop up just a week ago!
Although in different colourways, both seem utterly charming and we can only guess as to why the model wasn’t put into production.
The model number dates her quite closely, only the modeller remains unknown. I feel personally that it is a Harradine piece due to the subject and looking at other figures around the same model number they are Harradine’s work. My only doubt is her small waist – a trait of Peggy Davies’.
One day hopefully we will once again be able to access the Doulton records to see if they shed any further light on this interesting figure!
We all know that figures change subtly during the pre-production phase but a sighting this last summer really shows us how drastic some transformations could be!
Here is a prototype version of Market Day complete with a piglet at the girl’s feet! I can’t help thinking that this is one of the piglets often attributed to Peggy Davies! If not identical it probably provided inspiration for her.
Prototype sold at Louis Taylor.
Here is the production model to compare her with.
She was of course re-introduced decades later as Country Lass with the same HN number and with a matte glaze for a short period, along with another contemporary figure the Jersey Milkmaid who became the Milkmaid, also in matte, with the same HN and re-named simply The Milkmaid.
As you’ll be aware a particular interest of mine is tracking down the inspiration of figures, particularly early ones and more particularly those of Leslie Harradine, Royal Doulton’s genius sculptor.
Above you can see Tildy HN1576 together with her inspiration drawn by Jennie Harbour who provided many such ladies for Harradine; whether she was aware of this is unknown. (The Doulton lady is taken from the lady on the left.) Yet, Doulton did have some agreement with Raphael Tuck the publisher of these Jennie Harbour pictures, although correspondence between the two firms that exists only refers to pictures by Stanislaus Longley and Molly Benetar.
Here you can also see Harradine’s In the Stocks HN1474 who would be adapted to become Tildy.
And here is HN1475 the other colourway of In the Stocks. Both versions of this lady taken from the Harbour picture are very rare today and so both had limited production, even more limited than is suggested in the figure book. In the Stocks was introduced in 1931 and Tildy in 1933, suggesting the former had been deleted by then. Tildy it is recorded, was withdrawn in 1939, but by 1939 would be a more accurate description as I have never seen a later 1930’s dated example. Perhaps someone out there has?
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!
Here are three versions of the hard to find figure Jacqueline. Designed by the great Leslie Harradine, Jacqueline was available as HN2000 and HN2001 between 1947-1951.
The red is a new find, a colourway, with ‘HA3’ to it’s base telling us that it was painted by Harry Allen and this is colourway 3. Presumably 1 and 2 were the two colourways produced in pink and blue pictured either side of her.
Jacqueline is model 1234 telling us that whilst she was introduced in 1947, she would have been modelled in ca.1942. I have versions of models 1230 (Christmas Morn) and 1231 (a prototype similar to Easter Day) dated 1942, so we can date the model quite closely.
The part of collecting that I find most interesting is often the story behind the piece. Although I have not found a pictorial inspiration for Jacqueline there is still plenty to be researched as you can hopefully see above.
Not exactly a total re-incarnation but as we know from a look at similar figures a while ago, several of Harradine’s early figures were later adapted and re-introduced into the HN range.
The Proposal HN715 from 1925.
Just like figures including The Windmills Lady who became The Lavender Seller or Sweet Maid who transformed into Millicent, so too did The Proposal HN715 who became this fantastic figurine, Teresa HN1682 and HN1683 in 1935.
Teresa in both colourways.
The addition of a table and some props creates a really different lady!
Perhaps you have noticed other such transformations? Why not share them in our Facebook group ‘Doulton Collectors Club’!
I’ve just had some extra pictures of the current exhibition at the WMODA housed at the Gallery of Amazing Things that I thought would interest us all!
The sheer breadth of exhibits is to be marvelled but for me it is the massive array of Doulton wares that interests me most!
Here are a few pictures of the figures currently on display as part of the Flair for Fashion exhibition! Enjoy!!
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