Royal Doulton seascapes

Inspired by lots in Whitley’s Auctioneers’ sale in just over a week, which will take place as part of a Royal Doulton Convention and Auction weekend January 12-14 (2018) in Orlando, I thought it the perfect opportunity to look more closely at some examples of Royal Doulton’s sea themed work.

Just as with paintings and photography, the sea and sea-life have long provided inspiration for ceramic painters and those at Royal Doulton have produced some magnificent examples covering a wide spectrum of their ranges produced, particularly those wares we today class as Burslem products.

A magnificent Flambé vase with gilded fish against a Sung background.

The wonderful Mermaid figure displayed according to the contemporary advert from 1917.

1920s lustre vase with seascape.

A unique Titanian bowl.

An early Burslem seascape which would probably have had plated fittings to form a biscuit barrel or the like.

For further information on Whitley’s Auctioneers upcoming sale to include many star Royal Doulton works of art, visit:

https://www.liveauctioneers.com/auctioneer/6087/whitley-s-auctioneers/

 

The inspiration behind Royal Doulton’s popular figurine ‘Honey’ from 1939.

Produced in three colourways as HN 1909 and HN 1910 from 1939, and HN 1963 from 1941, Leslie Harradine’s Honey is one of a small number of figures introduced during WWII and which subsequently had a short production run.

Interestingly the pink version, HN 1909, is the most frequently found and the only one I have seen produced post war too, with a remodelled angle to her neck and different flowers too.

She is based upon this illustration by Stanislaus Longley, which incidentally was also used as a cover girl by high end retailer Liberty of London for this 1930s Christmas catalogue.

Honey HN 1910 and the Liberty Christmas catalogue mentioned.

As you can see Harradine altered the actual model from the illustration, as he frequently did, but it is one of a number of Longley designs which he derived inspiration for figures from.

Note the ‘HA 3’ on the base signifying that this is the third trial proposed and painted by Harry Allen.

If you would like to read more about the inspiration behind some of Royal Doulton’s most iconic figures, check out my book ‘Reflections’ online.

Royal Doulton’s Willow Story Pattern.

This familiar design is and was produced by many China manufacturers since the late 18th Century, although Royal Doulton created their own colour scheme aside from the traditional blue and white.

In all there are 6 scenes to collect detailing the lives of Chang and Koongshee, all with appropriate titles to their reverse. Each scene although vaguely Chinese in style, is in fact a European interpretation of oriental life and the characters portrayed were conceived sometime in the early 1800s.

Produced from 1920 and withdrawn sometime around the time of WWII, Willow Pattern Story has been found on plates, a cup and saucer and most recently the meat platter illustrated.

Royal Doulton’s ever popular miniature Polly Peachum figures.

Polly Peachum and her counterparts hold a special place in the hearts of many figure collectors due to her prominent appearance in the HN Collection from 1921 until WWII. Polly is central to Royal Doulton’s first series of figures, designed by Leslie Harradine, and each is based on the Lovett Fraser costumes for the 1920 revival of the opera at the Lyric in Hammersmith, London.

A display of miniature Polly Peachums in an appropriately sized display!

Originally produced in a typical larger size as two models – one standing HN463 (with 6 other colourways) and one curtsying (again with 4 more colourways), the latter is often referred to as Polly Curtsey in early publicity for the Beggars Opera series.

A 1925 calendar with Polly dated 1925.

It is the latter model (316) or second version of Polly that has inspired this post, for as a miniature figure she can be found in more recorded and unrecorded colourways than any other Royal Doulton figure.

Polly mounted on a bell push.

Today she can still be found mounted in all manner of useful objects from calendars to bell pushes, and a host of other objects in between! Whilst more easily found versions of her such as M21 in pink are relatively inexpensive, other more unusual versions can easily reach four figure sums, which considering her diminutive size (6cm) is quite astonishing!

One of a number of colourways that Polly can be found in!

Interestingly the first versions of this miniature Polly appeared in 1925 as part of the HN, thus pre-dating the M series and it is from this period that most unrecorded variations appear. There were 8 original HN colourways of her and the most popular were incorporated into the M series upon its launch in 1932.

Another variation of our heroine!

Questions around the markings on the bases of some of these early versions remain unanswered including why some carry early HN numbers such as HN8. My explanation is that these seemingly erroneous references actually refer to the colour of early full size HN figures such as the Crinoline and Picardy Peasant which have been given to Polly as well.

Polly labelled HN1265 to her base, referencing her colourway based on Lady Fayre HN1265.

Royal Doulton’s Carrara ware

Carrara ware carries a special backstamp and is a stonewarewith a white matt glaze that imitates a dull marble effect. Early examples can be found featuring fine painting and gilding (ca. 1890’s).

An unusual lidded vase in Carrara.

Carrara ware is rare to find today but there are some impressive advertising pieces including the famous Mark Marshall seahorse or the Leslie Harradine bear that were produced to advertise this ware.

A group of Doulton advertising pieces including the polar bear mentioned and also an unusual scarab.

It was particularly popular in the architectural world in the early 20th Century and several buildings around the world have a Carrara ware façade, including the world famous Savoy Hotel in London.

A salvaged Doulton name plaque from an unknown building.

Royal Doulton’s rare Bonzo dog models

Bonzo

Of the early sets of Doulton animals the Bonzo character dogs from the 1920’s are some of the hardest to track down. In total there were six early dogs HN808-813 and seemingly very few were made. Created by George Studdy, his mischeaveous dog Bonzo became the star of comic strip, magazines and postcard! Extremely rare examples of Bonzo have been found mounted as finials or on alabaster desk accessories.

Bonzo appears in several colourways including a deep purple glaze, ivory with red or black buttons and a deep blue glaze among others. Due to the miniature size of the piece, he is typically just marked ‘DOULTON’ and occasionally the model number 868 to its base.

A place to share enthusiasm for all things Royal Doulton! All original content ©Christopher Evans 2014 unless otherwise credited. No unauthorised reproduction permitted.