Here is another link, this time to part 2 of my account of the first 100 years of Doulton’s HN collection of figures, published naturally by Seaway China.
Some early Doulton advertising booklets for Dickensware ca. 1912 – the Centenary of Dickens’ birth, together with 2 seriesware trays a calendar with a Dickens figure and an early Tony Weller
When it comes to the works of Dickens, Charles Noke, Doulton’s art director at Burslem was blatantly a fan if not obsessed by all things Dickens.
A facsimile of a letter from Dickens’ son to Doulton & Co. expressing his pleasure at their Dickens range
From the early 20th century and throughout his time as art director and even after, Doulton have produced a wide variety of wares to commemorate Dickens’ works.
Three of Leslie Harradine’s original models for the miniature Doulton Dickens figures
The lengthy of time these many wares were produced mean that there is something for every collector, old and new and something for every pocket size too!
Another of Harradine’s Prototypes, this time the full size Dickens figures, together with an early Mr Pickwick HN556
Here is a glimpse at the sheer variety of wares produced by Doulton, the majority under the direction of Noke himself!
Two sterling silver trays mounted with Dickens miniatures.
Three sizes of character jugs (L, M & S) and a derivative ash bowl
Three Doulton Dickens tinies including Charles Dickens himself
This is but the tip of the so-called iceberg and there are many collectors throughout the world who share Noke’s enthusiasm for all things Dickens. I have been lucky enough to see two huge collections outside the UK, but why not share any unusual finds to our facebooks page? Search for:
Doulton Collectors Club
See you there!
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!
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.
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.
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.
Reg Brown was destined to play a pivotal role in the field of Doulton’s figure production. Born in 1909, he died at the early age of 53. He spent most of his life living locally to the Burslem factory in Wolstanton. Doulton typically became something of a family affair for the Browns, with his daughter-in-law working in the Character Jug department and his youngest son in the Doulton laboratory.
Reg Brown ca. 1950’s Head of Doulton’s on-glaze Figure Painting Department
Reg was originally a pupil of Herbert Betteley at Doultons and of the same school as Tom Parton, Charles Hart , Bernard Green, Harry Stevenson, Roland Holdcroft, Jack Pierpoint and others. He studied at the Burslem College of Art and from an early stage showed versatitily in painting landscapes and castles amongst many other subjects with prowess. However, he was destined to join Harry Allen, Norman Woodings, Charles Nixon and a handful of other men who formed the nucleus of the original figure painting department.
A founder of the Doulton Art Society, a member of the Doulton Sports Club and the Doulton choir, Reg would eventually become head of the On-glaze figure painting department, a position he would hold until his untimely death.
Collectors I know specifically look for Reg’s figures as they have exquisite faces and are superbly painted. I am fortunate to posess a few colourways also painted by Reg from the 1940’s, no doubt from his time as the head of department and the colourings are just wonderful in real life. One of my favourite figures painted by him is this colourway of Christmas Morn from 1942.
Once again, why not see how many of your pieces are painted by Reg – and what a great theme for collecting figures!
Simply search Facebook for the ‘Doulton Collectors Club’ and ask to join, then you can ask questions a view a variety of material from around the world!!!
What are you waiting for?