Category Archives: Royal Doulton

Royal Doulton Highlights: Art Deco Figurines by Leslie Harradine

Art Deco Figurines By Leslie Harradine - Butterfly HN1456
Butterfly HN1456 

The Art Deco period from the 1920s to the 1930s was an exciting time in the world of ceramics. In the wake of the 1925 Paris Exhibition, the flowing forms of art nouveau gave way to colorful geometric designs. Art Deco sculptors portrayed scantily clad ladies in artful poses which inspired Royal Doulton artist, Leslie Harradine, to model a stylish collection of figurines.

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Royal Doulton Artist: Charles J. Noke

Royal Doulton Artist Charles Noke c1900

Charles Noke c. 1900

Charles Noke was born in Worcester in 1858, close to the famous china factory. His father was a connoisseur, collector and dealer in antiques with one of the largest collections of old china in the country. As a boy, young Charles was fascinated with porcelain figurines and in his school holidays roamed the Worcester studios watching the artists at work. With the encouragement of their most gifted modeler, James Hadley, he took home some clay and began modeling small elephants and a Jester figure, subjects that continued to inspire him throughout his career. At the age of 15, Noke started work as an apprentice modeler at the Worcester factory and also began studying at the local School of Design.

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Royal Doulton Artist: Leslie Harradine


Harradine studied at Camberwell School of Art in London under the sculptor Albert Toft, who modeled Charlie’s Aunt. He started his apprenticeship at the Lambeth Pottery in 1902 working under George Tinworth, Mark Marshall and John Broad. He loved Tinworth’s Merry Musicians and Broad’s Boer War soldier which inspired him to model his own series of salt-glazed stoneware soldiers. For the centenary of Dickens’ birth in 1912, he modeled a collection of popular characters from the novels which were slip-cast in white and brown stoneware. As well as figurines, he also modeled a portrait jug of Pecksniff which foreshadowed Noke’s character jug collection. Most of Harradine’s designs for the Lambeth pottery were allocated ‘H’ pattern numbers, which are incised on the base.

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Good King Wenceslas by Royal Doulton

Good King Wenceslas Color Variation 1952 Height: 8.75 inches
Good King Wenceslas Color Variation 1952 Height: 8.75 inches

This color variation of Good King Wenceslas dates from 1952 and differs from the regular figure in several respects. It is beautifully painted in shades of bright yellow and purple and it is clearly one of the first pieces to be taken from the mold with very crisp detailing. Good King Wenceslas HN2118 was modeled by Peggy Davies and proved to be a very popular Christmas figure, remaining in production for 23 years. It was produced briefly in a miniature size as HN3262 between 1989 and 1992.

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Royal Doulton Baron de Beef Mustard Pot

Royal Doulton Baron de Beef Mustard Pot
This very rare Baron de Beef mustard pot was made at Royal Doulton’s Lambeth Pottery for Colman’s of Norwich. The Baron de Beef was one of the chief officers of the Mustard Club, an advertising campaign created for Colman’s by Benson’s advertising agency of London. The enormously successful campaign ran from 1926 to 1933 and really caught the public’s imagination. Colman’s was one of the first brands to create an integrated advertising campaign using teaser ‘guerrilla marketing’ techniques. At first posters appeared on London buses with mysterious messages asking “Has father joined the Mustard Club?” On October 29th, 1926, the Daily Mail newspaper published full details of membership, rules and officers of the Mustard Club. Continue reading Royal Doulton Baron de Beef Mustard Pot

Good Sir Toby

Toby XX Stoneware Jug
Toby XX Stoneware Jug

Most Royal Doulton collectors are familiar with the work of Charles Noke who launched character jugs at the Burslem Pottery in 1934. However, few are aware of the pioneering work done at Doulton’s Lambeth Pottery in London a century earlier. The first Doulton character jug was a salt-glaze stoneware portrait of Admiral Lord Nelson, the great naval hero, which dates from the 1840s. By the 1860s Doulton’s Lambeth Pottery was also making the traditional style of toby jug in brown salt-glaze stoneware. During the 20th century, the toby tradition was revived by Harry Simeon, one of Doulton’s most talented artists. Simeon fashioned Toby Fillpots into a variety of useful articles, such as a teapot, ashtrays, bookends, candlesticks and liquor decanters, as well as the more traditional toby jug.

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The King of Collectibles

D & J McCallum whisky Highlander Trademark
D & J McCallum whisky Highlander Trademark

Before the development of plastics, pottery was the ideal promotional material, being attractive, durable, cheap and hygienic. In the 1800s, brewers and distillers were major customers for Lambeth stoneware bottles and barrels featuring their brands. By the early 1900s, the Burslem factory had a huge business supplying Kingsware flasks for advertising purposes to leading whisky producers, such as Dewars and Greenlees. There are around 50 different promotional flasks to collect with subjects as diverse as Dickens characters and iconic Scottish themes. D & J McCallum whisky commissioned their Highlander trademark as a Kingsware jug around 1930 and this prompted Art Director Charles Noke to create his renowned collection of face jugs or character jugs.

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British Bulldogs

Royal Doulton Jack Bulldog from James Bond Movie
Bulldog Jack


Royal Doulton Bulldog Old Bill HN146
Bulldog Old Bill HN146

The patriotic British bulldog has become an icon once again thanks to his desk appearance in the James Bond movie Skyfall. He is the prized possession of M and survives a bomb to be bequeathed to Bond. Royal Doulton’s new Jack Bulldog DD007 was inspired by early wartime bulldogs symbolically draped with the Union Jack, which were produced in three sizes. During the First World War, the breed symbolized the dogged determination of the British people under duress and one of Royal Doulton’s earliest models features a khaki colored bulldog wearing a helmet and haversack (HN146).

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Royal Doulton Rarity – Tsang Ihang Figurine

Royal Doulton Tsang Ihang
Tsang Ihang

This exotic figurine advertising Grossmith’s perfume from 1923. The oriental lady is promoting Tsang Ihang sweet perfume of Tibet, which has ‘an undying fragrance of the mystic east imparting to the user an atmosphere of distinctive charm and fascination’. Royal Doulton’s figurine was derived from a Grossmith’s advertisement of 1921 and was used to promote the Grossmith brand in perfume boutiques and luxury shops around the world. Grossmith’s perfumes all had exotic names, such as Shem-El-Nessim, the Scent of Araby; Wana-Ranee, the Perfume of Ceylon; and Phul-Nana, bouquet of Indian flowers, which made a cameo appearance in series 3 of Downton Abbey. The Grossmith advertisements evoked romantic images of foreign lands to arouse the senses of their customers. World travel was fascinating to the public but only the very rich could afford to go far. The trend-setters and fashion leaders of the era were royalty who were rich and influential. Grossmith made scent for Queen Victoria and in the 1900s had Royal Warrants from the Queen of England, the King of Spain and the Royal Court of Greece.

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Do you Believe in Faries?

Faires catalog pageThe existence of fairies was ‘proven’ in the 1920s with the famous hoax of the Cottingley photographs which purported to show fairies dancing at the bottom of the garden. Royal Doulton responded to this new fairy phenomenon with a beautiful collection of fairies cavorting amongst flowers and toadstools modeled by Leslie Harradine. Six different models of fairy figures were accessorized with different flowers, assembled petal by petal. They were decorated in a variety of colors and a total of 16 HN numbers were issued in 1929 and 1930. Continue reading Do you Believe in Faries?