Born in the heart of the Potteries Neil Welch’s talent to sculpt the human form has led to a range of high profile commissions, including Wedgwood’s and Doultons synonymous with their quality ceramics for over 250 years . Neil left school at the age of 16 with A grades in art and gained a two year apprenticeship at the New Victoria theatre as a stage set and props designer, here he discovered a love of sculpture which has never left him. At this time he also began to create his own unique sculptures. Self taught , in 1993 he was approached by Wedgwoods/ Coalport to become (in-house) ,where he stayed for the next seven years before becoming freelance in 2000. As a freelance sculptor Neil gained the total freedom of expression that he craved.
Neil has the uncanny ability to combine exquisite design with mood and feeling making his work truly special. Neil now aged 45, is currently showing his beautiful lifelike bronze sculptures in galleries all around the country where his work is becoming highly sought after. He also has 2 very successful figurative ranges of his own which he licenses to the giftware market.
Come along this Sunday to meet Neil as well as Michael Doulton, our host and 6th generation descendant of Royal Doulton’s founder!
Personal Profile – Chris Jackson
Born in Stoke on Trent in the Heart of ‘The Potteries’, Chris showed an interest in ceramics from a young age. He graduated art school in 1977 and immediately joined Royal Doulton as a trainee figure painter.
Having quickly mastered the skill of on-glaze painting he went on to train in the complex technique of under-glaze character painting. During the early part of his career, Chris worked on some of Royal Doulton’s most famous designs. Amongst his favourite early figures are Belle O’ the Ball, St George and Embroidering.
In 2000 Chris became a team leader of the on-glaze figure painting and lithography department, and in 2003 moved to the design department as a decoration designer. As part of his current role, Chris designs the costumes for the ‘Pretty Lady’ and character figures, researching appropriate colours and details for each one. He also carefully hand paints each face with perfect precision ensuring every figure is full of personality, expression and detail.
Chris has travelled throughout the UK meeting collectors and giving painting demonstrations and has visited Japan on several occasions.
When not designing figures Chris has many other interests from fell walking to refereeing the local county football teams. He is also a musician and plays the drums in a rock band.
Don’t forget, come along this Sunday to meet Chris, as well as Michael Doulton at the World of Wedgwood- details below!
Come along to our Royal Doulton extravaganza on June 11th being held this year at the World of Wedgwood, Barlaston!
An array of Royal Doulton, Beswick and Moorcroft dealers will be in attendance offering a wide array of products from all eras! There is free entry to the event and a day filled with painting demonstrations by Chris Jackson, modelling by Neil Welch and not forgetting our host for the event Michael Doulton who will be on hand to sign any purchases and talk to collectors. Not forgetting that there will be free entry to the Wedgwood museum on the Sunday too!
In addition there will be a valuation service on site and you an ask the Doulton Collectors Club for any historical support you may need!
Also worth visiting is an exciting exhibition which will be running for 4 weeks to coincide with the event, telling the story of Royal Doulton over the last 200 years, located in the Wedgwood Museum.
The fair exclusive the Fair Jester will also be available from 10.30 in a strict limited edition of 300 pieces. You can see him peeking out on the cover of the fair programme.
Below is the fair programme to enjoy!
Here at last is the newest member of Royal Doulton’s legendary Bunnykins family The Fair Jester.
The Fair Jester a DCC exclusive for 2017.
Royal Doulton’s Bunnykins characters have been entertaining us since 1934 and this summer The Fair Jester will be the Doulton Collectors Club fair exclusive at the summer Doulton show (11th June 2017) being held at the World Of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton’s home.
Here The Fair Jester sits perfectly with other members of the Bunnykins family.
Issued in a limited edition of 300, The Fair Jester comes with a certificate of authenticity carrying each individual Bunnykins’ serial number and he is presented in a typical Bunnykins box.
The Fair Jester (Ltd Ed 300).
To reserve this new Bunnykins figure, just email firstname.lastname@example.org
Looking forward to seeing you at the June event!
Collectors of Royal Doulton’s world famous figurines are aware of the many sources that inspired figures from stars of the theatre, to calendar and card designs published by the likes of Raphael Tuck & sons.
However, one particular star of Royal Doulton’s HN range was inspired by the great actress Vivien Leigh in her role in the legendary film Gone with the Wind in which she played Scarlett O’Hare.
Here you can see a press cutting along with an early dated version of Easter Day from 1943; incidentally two years after she was originally modelled. Also in the picture is a very similar looking prototype from 1942 that I display along side the large size figure.
For collectors the beauty of Royal Doulton is the diversity of its wares. When it comes to collecting tobacco jars this statement is particularly pertinent!
Tinworth designed tobacco jar and a Tinworth menu holder c.1885.
Whether you prefer the products of the Lambeth factory or the pottery examples from their Staffordshire factories – there is something to suit every collector.
Four Lambeth examples: Chiné, simulated metal, Silicon and an art nouveau example.
Lambeth examples can be found by leading artists including the legendary George Tinworth, to repeat designs created by leading in-house artists, to more mass produced examples including Doulton’s famous Chiné technique. Rare novelty examples also exist such as the one illustrated modelled as a weight!
Burslem examples: two Kingsware jars featuring Mr Pickwick and Parson Brown, a Reco Capey example and a seriesware Barnaby Rudge piece.
Pottery examples from Burslem typically fit into the following categories: art wares, Kingsware or seriesware as can be seen above.
Collecting tobacciana is a worldwide phenomenon so it is no surprise to see rare examples fetch high prices but a collection can be assembled of more modest varieties of Doulton wares such as the Chiné or Silicon examples above.
Or rather where the then new figure range began in 1913 – is perhaps how that heading should read.
Darling in his original size with HN 1 at the fore, the HN 1371 and of course the more frequently found HN 1319.
In reality Darling was not the first figure in the HN collection but due to Queen Mary’s famous christening of him with her statement “Isn’t he a darling” – he was given the prestigious number 1 in the new number sequence.
Typical early base, this time belonging to HN 1. Note the actual number of figures painted on the inside ‘349’!
Designed by Charles Vyse who would later inspire Doulton’s famous balloon sellers, Darling was produced in his original size of 19cm in four colourways – HN 1 in a pale blue grey nightshirt, HN 1319 in a white nightshirt with black base and then HN 1371 and 1372 in green and pink nightshirts respectively and both with black bases. Of all these originally size models it is HN 1371 and 1372 which are the particularly rare examples.
In the post WWII period Darling was remodelled in the now smaller and most familiar size of 13cm as HN 1945 and remained in production as such until 1997. A lovely additional version of him HN 3613 for Peter Jones the China specialist was introduced to mirror the original HN 1 colouring in 1993.
Only one further model of this charming young boy has been produced and that was for Royal Doulton’s 200th Anniversary Icons series as HN 5648 in a smaller size again of 10cm!
The now mid size Darling HN 3613 with his smaller Icons series counterpart HN 5648, pictured against the first figure booklet from 1913. Note the reference to Queen Mary and ‘Now at Buckingham Palace’!
All in all Darling proved to be the first of one of Royal Doulton’s most popular collecting themes when it comes to figures – children!