Princess Elizabeth visiting Royal Doulton in 1949 – another video clip

I thought you might all like to see this extra montage of the Queen’s visit to Royal Doulton at Burslem in 1949, when still Princess Elizabeth. Of particular interest is some Seriesware inspired by Brangwyn ware and also the decorating of figures from this period and a comprehensive display of them! Well worth a look!

http://www.britishpathe.com/video/princess-elizabeth-visits-the-potteries/query/Doulton

 

Still on the topic of ‘Reflections’…here is Lady and Blackamoor HN375 and her inspiration!

This original illustration is by the popular illustrator Jennie Harbour and clearly is the source for Tittensor’s Lady and Blackamoor. Interestingly this example spotted at the Seaway China/Whitley event in Detroit 2009, is modelled as a powder bowl and the base separates from the rest to provide a place for the powder and puff! The colouring of HN375 is identical to that of HN374, but the former indicates that it is modelled as a powder bowl.

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Illustration by Jennie Harbour ‘Powder and Patches’.

 

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And here is the rare Lady and Blackamoor HN375 to compare to the original.

An updated discovery! Peter Pan’s Wendy by Arthur Rackham and Tittensor’s Pretty Lady

I thought it would be of interest to collectors to see this colourway of Harry Tittensor’s Pretty Lady originally introduced in 1920 together with the inspiration for this special lady. This particular colourway, just discovered, is exceptional and really evokes the textile patterns of the original ilustration, which are so typical of this time when there was a revival in such romanticism and also pre-raphaelite art.

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The rare Pretty Lady and Artur Rackham’s “Wendy”. Below is a rear view of the Doulton figure that really does show how true to the original illustration, Doulton have tried to be.

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Many thanks to Harvey’s Collectables for the pictures of Pretty Lady.

An Easter Day surprise!

A treat for fellow figure collectors is this early version of Easter Day by Leslie Harradine, modelled after a still of Vivienne Leigh in ‘Gone with the Wind’ from 1938 when the actress played Scarlet O’Hara. The actual version of this figure that went into production in 1945 was accurate in almost every detail to the photograph that has previously been listed here!

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Bunnykins – an Easter treat!

With so many collectors of Doulton’s famous Bunnykins nursery ware out there, it is hardly a surprise that it reamins a popular line to this day. Originally created by Barbara Vernon (she took her mother’s surname when she became a nun) in 1934 and famous patrons of this ware have helped perpetuate its success.

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An example of an early pen-and-watercolour illustration by Barbara Vernon (1930)

In 1937, the late Queen Mother first saw examples of Bunnykins and since then it has been a regular in Royal nurseries around the world. Interestingly, Barbara was actually the daughter of Cuthbert Bailey, the manager of Doulton’s Burslem factory and hence the Doulton connection.

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Examples of nurseryware and the rare Billy Bunnyking

Due to failing eyesight Barbara’s creations for Doulton curtailed in the late 1940’s and Walter Hayward took up the reigns and designs of this most famous nuersery ware continue even to this day. At the most recent Doulton fair here in the UK, once again there was a special limited edition piece, a Bunnykins figure commissioned by Ceramics International for the event and of course it was another sell out!

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Bunnykins figures being decorated

Here you can see a picture of the various backstamps used on Bunnykins over the years. Of interest to collectors of nurseryware itself are the signed pieces by Barbara Vernon. Walter Hayward, rather than use a facsimilie signature used a mouse to indicate his designs.

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Examples of Bunnykins nurseryware backstamps

The range of early Bunnykins figures are charming with their doleful eyes and there is an early range of tableware with modelled heads to compliment these figures. These modelled pieces of tableware are extremely rare and very popular with collectors today.

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The rare and ever popular Mother Bunnykins

As with all things Doulton colourways and prototypes dominate this field of collecting. Yet, there are many variations to be found more modestly, especially when special limited editions have been and are made as commemoratives and also for fairs around the world. So happy hunting and happy Easter!!

 

Doulton at War (1939-45) – A brief account of the damage at both the Burslem and Lambeth factories

Much is documented about the wares produced by Doulton during this period as much of what was produced is so very rare that only one or two examples of items exist to this day.

However, very little has been documented about what actually happened at the Burslem and Lambeth factories at this time. Naturally there was a shortage of raw materials that had a major impact on production, but also the calling up of employees from both factories must have almost halted production of most wares, save utilitarian items needed for the war effort.

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Damage to the Burslem warehouse October 1940

The war came early to the Burslem factory, when in October 1940 a three-storey warehouse housing finished goods and also the Art Director’s studios were bombed. Here you can see a couple of pictures of the debris it left behind. Try as I might the only things I can pin point are a Limited Edition Jug and what is probably some Flambé ware.

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A further view of the damage cause to the warehouse at Burslem in 1940

At Lambeth too, the factory sustained damage as did many of their employees’ homes. In May 1941 the Lambeth showrooms took a direct hit and were destroyed but fortunately there was no loss of life at that point. In typical Doulton form for the company at this time, financial assistance was provided to employees suffering from war damage to their homes.

Whilst the above is merely a snap-shot of events during the war-years, it allows us to share these unique pictures from the time.

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