A table of figures of which only a fraction were eventually produced.
Prototypes and colourways have been the subject of previous articles, but I thought you all might like to see these few pictures I have come across of figure evaluation events. Typically these occurred in the US and Canada during the 1960’s-80’s.
Another display featuring a wonderful red colourway of Sweet Seventeen that turned up at the Doulton museum sale in London.
At first security at such events appears to have been lax with figures ‘escaping’ during their travels, but as time went on Doulton began to appreciate what value these survey pieces had and storage even at the factory improved greatly. Indeed, Doulton ‘sat’ on prototypes for many years, sometimes decades as with the figure Elizabeth HN2465 from 1970 that was only out into production in 1990 or the handful of Mary Nicoll ladies such as Lesley that appeared many years after their original production. You can see some of these figures in the pictures shown here on this page.
A young collector casts their vote for their favourites.
The majority of prototypes that turn up appear to be from the 1940’s onwards, indicating that the majority of models produced before this time were put into production – the length of production indicating popularity. Yet, earlier prototypes do turn up and whilst I have heard people say that all Harradine’s models went into production, this is not the case as even his models faced heavy scrutiny after 1940 and began not to go into production but would face market surveys.
Not the best illustration but a lovely colourway of a favourite prototype by Mary Nicoll from 1971, titled ‘Smith minor’ right at the front of the picture. A figure of a young boy off to school sat on his trunk and holding his cricket bat.
Perhaps you have a survey figure in your collection? If so we would love to hear from you and why not post a picture to our Facebook page ‘Doulton Collectors Club’!
Just a few more colourways, prototypes and rare figures to share with you all! Thanks once again to Seaway China for the use of their pictures too!
An unusual Guy Fawkes
A very different Orange Vendor
The rare HN1563 version of Sweet and Twenty
Abdullah in red
A nice version of Repose in yellow
Mam’selle in a typical 1920’s colouring
A nice Deirdre dated 1947 that I once had
Polly Peachum in grey
A charming Ballerina prototype from the 1960’s
An elaborately painted Young Love
And that’s all for colourways and prototypes for today!! Enjoy and keep hunting!
As soon as the term colourway is used, many suddenly think of the unique and unusual. Doulton, however, seem to have had a much wider view of the term. Certainly during the inter-war years of the 1920’s and 1930’s many figures were available in colourways to compliment existing figures in the range. Take for example the selection of two-tone green figure: Barbara (HN1461), Paisley Shawl (HN1460), Patricia (HN1462), Miss Demure (HN1463), Sweet Anne (HN1453) and Victorian Lady (HN1452).
Clearly this set was produced to compliment one another. Other such sets include Sweet Anne(HN1496), Dorcas (HN1558) and Priscilla (HN1559);
Another group is Veronica (HN1650), Sweet and Twenty (HN1649), Janet (HN1652) and Camille (HN1648) (not illustrated); and below you can see Pantalettes (HN1362), Victorian Lady (HN1345) and Sweet Anne (HN1318);
As can be seen from the illustrations here, even the ‘M’ range figures reflect this trend. Child figures too can be group together in complimentary colouring such as Monica (HN1467) and Marie (HN1635) below.
A clear favourite colourway amongst collectors has of course always been the ‘red’ figures and this began in the 1920’s when figures such as Spanish Lady (HN1294) and then later Marguerite (HN1948) and Christmas Morn (HN1992) began to appear. A paricular favourite of mine has always been Pantalettes (HN1709) seen below.
Whatever your reasons for collecting, once you have a sizable group of figures you are sure to find a theme or group that will help create your perfect display and of course that is part of the fun of collecting – how to display your collection to its best advantage.
If you have any particular groupings that you have put together please write in with a picture for us to all share!