Tag Archives: Leslie Harradine

An Amazing Adventure – Part 2

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Continuing my look back at last Saturday’s talk, here are a few more choice items from the selection that I took along. The premise of the talk was ‘My Collection’.
In this section the theme was the development of figures, so I took the art nouveau, square Harradine vase along so as to discuss Harradine’s roll but also the links with Doulton from his time as an apprentice modeller, to the period 1910-14 when he supplied models to Lambeth on a freelance basis and finally how the link with Burslem was established with the introduction of his first figure into the HN Collection in 1920.
The first figure we looked at was Harradine’s original model for Micawber and we discussed the process and arrangement he had with Charles Noke.
Next up were the M series and these original boxes for them. Most of these M figures were of course based on Harradine’s larger models.
A popular theme for all figure collectors has always – well since HN1 – been children so I shared a few favourites from the Nursery figures set including a prototype in my collection.
Honey and her inspiration followed, a typical painting by Stanislaus Longley, who Harradine used repeatedly for inspiration. Interestingly this work was also used by the famous London store Liberty for a Christmas catalogue cover in the 1930’s – and that is also pictured.
This section was completed with a discussion on colourways and I shared a version of Clothilde that I have from 1937.

Next time I’ll share some Burslem art wares that we discussed!

Leslie Harradine Part 3 – the family man

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Leslie Harradine relaxing at home in later years. Note the undecorated figures in the cabinet behind his wife, Molly (photo courtesy Seaway China).

In this final part of our series on Leslie Harradine’s life, we will look at him as a family man. Very little is really known about him other than the bare facts that he married three times and had six children and a step-son. Harradine had a habit of marrying his models and all three wives were his muses. From his first marriage Harradine had three daughters, Jessie, Josie and Norma and from his second another two Helen and Diana and a son Richard. The children apparently all knew one another, although Helen once said that she didn’t think Harradine liked children and that he firmly believed in the old adage that ‘children should be seen and not heard’!

Helen also famously said that all his wives loved her father to the end, although he seemingly cast them aside until his third wife Molly.

In recent times a collection of Harradine’s undecorated figures was sold by a London saleroom and purchased by a  friend of mine. The auctioneer believed they had been consigned by Molly’s son. Harradine’s other families seemingly did not have any or many of their father’s work, indeed a grown up Helen and her son purchased a set of his Dickens miniatures from Jocelyn Lukins in the 1980’s.

Two of Leslie Harradine’s undecorated figures sold by a descendant (courtesy of Bonhams).

Very little additional information is known, but some recollections were provided by a close friend of Jocelyn’s whose family had holidayed with the third Harradine family.

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A holiday snap of Leslie Harradine taken by a family friend

Leslie Harradine died in a Gibraltar hospital and I remember being told that the hospital had some Doulton architectural tiles, one final link to the maker and factory he helped make so famous the world over!

If you have any additional information on this great man, we would love to hear from you!

Part 2 of my celebration of 100 Years of Doulton’s HN Collection for Seaway China

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.

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http://seawaychina.net/pdfs/catalog/summer2013/2013-Summer-Catalog-cover-and-features.pdf

Leslie Harradine Part 2 – A change of allegiance

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A rare photograph of Leslie Harradine

The next chapter of Harradine’s association with Doulton begins in 1919. Noke, Art Director at Doulton’s Burslem factory recognised Harradine’s talent for figure making and attempted to recruit him. Noke had been particularly impressed by the set of six Dickens figures Harradine had modelled for Lambeth.

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One of Harradine’s six Dickens figures made for Lambeth – Mr Micawber

However, not under any circumstances would Harradine consider working at Burslem, but via Lambeth’s Art Director Joseph Mott’s intervention, a meeting between Noke and Harradine was arranged whereby Noke travelled to London to meet with Harradine. The result of this meeting was of course that arrangement that has become legend amongst Doulton figure collectors. Thus Noke and Harradine came to an arrangement, whereby Harradine would send a succession of models to Burslem for Noke’s approval and a change of allegiance to Doulton’s of Burslem. This was an arrangement that lasted almost 40 years and would continue when Noke’s son succeeded him as Art Director in 1936 at Burslem. Harradine modelled in his preferred medium – salt glaze stoneware and sent one or two models per month wrapped in brown paper, and whose arrival would cause something of a stir when they arrived in Burslem.

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Here are two of Harradine’s original models for Burslem figures, both of Mr Micawber (first and second versions)

His models would deliver the popular success that the HN range had hitherto not achieved, representing fashions and interests from their own era. Harradine modelled women, men and children with equal skill. His figures entered the HN range in 1920 with The Princess HN391 until 1956, when his last ‘new’ model was introduced, Dimity HN2169, although many of his studies remained in production decades after this.

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The very stylish Clothilde in two colourways

At last Noke had found a modeller who could tap into the so-called ‘moment’ whatever it was, whether it is flapper girls, Victorian ladies, children or group studies. All were executed with precision and subtle style. Harradine remained something of a nomad yet he continued sending in models from addresses in England, the Channel Islands and Spain until the end of this great partnership.

In our final part to the Harradine story, we will look at Leslie Harradine, the family man.

Leslie Harradine – Part 1 The early Lambeth years

Leslie Harradine – Part 1 The early Lambeth years

Much has been written about Leslie Harradine over the decades since the resurgence of interest in Doulton art wares. Whilst acknowledging the great contribution other authors have made, I hope to settle a few inconsistencies and misnomers over the coming articles about this most versatile of home grown Doulton artists. I am of course indebted to my late friend Jocelyn Lukins, for whom Harradine became something of a passion as she researched his life over many decades, actually meeting a daughter of his, from his second of three marriages, and her son who bought examples of Harradine’s work from her.

Arthur Leslie Harradine was born in 1887 in Clapham, London, the son of a solicitor. In 1902 at the age of 15 he began an apprenticeship at Doulton as a learner modeller under the tutelage of George Tinworth and John Broad, although he also assisted Mark Marshall and Frank Pope at this time too. He would late remark about his experiences at this point in his life that he wished ‘he (Tinworth) would give up those dreary religious plaques and concentrate on mice and frogs’. Perhaps providing us with a clue not only into his own artistic preferences but also into his personal beliefs too.

During this early training Harradine attended evening classes at Camberwell School of Art under Albert Toft, who ironically would provide the model W. S. Penley as Charley’s Aunt HN35 to what would become the HN collection, that Harradine himself would influence so dramatically only a few years later.

In 1908 suffering from the confines of factory life, Harradine left Doulton at the end of his apprenticeship and unexpectedly set up as a poultry farmer in Hertfordshire with his brother Percy. Naturally he set up a studio there and continued the link with Doulton by sending in over eighty different models for them to reproduce as slip cast art ware. The list of items sent varied from figure groups to vases to child figures. These early piece demonstrated perfectly his ability to interpret people from all walks of life and all cultures.

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Three examples of Harradine’s early work for Lambeth

With the outbreak of World War I in 1914 Doulton’s art ware production was curtailed and so Harradine decided to emigrate to Canada with his brother, where they acquired 4000 acres of farming land in Saskatchewan. The open spaces suited both brothers and Harradine continued to model pieces but alas could not fire them. In 1916 the brothers enlisted into a Canadian regiment, Lord Strathcona’s Horse Regiment and saw action in France. Leslie had three horses shot from under him and unfortunately the last fell on him, injuring his leg, resulting in his being ‘invalided out’ after long spells in hospitals convalescing.

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Two of Harradine’s large size Dickens figures made at Lambeth

By the end of the war family life had added a new dimension to his bohemian life. With a wife and a daughter, with two more daughters to follow, Harradine became a freelance artist to support his young family; continuing to do models for Doulton’s Lambeth works.

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Mr Micawber made at Lambeth. The brown glazed version is much more unusual, although perhaps less popular than the usual white glazed figure

And so the first chapter of Harradine’s association with Doulton comes to a close. In the next we will look at how new links were established with Doulton at Burselm and the great influence he made on the HN collection for Doulton.