Leslie Harradine and Royal Doulton

For collectors of Royal Doulton, Leslie Harradine is a well known name  having designed some of the most famous and iconic Doulton figures including the Balloon Seller, Scotties, Sunshine Girl and the popular Dickens Series. He was prolific and modelled figures for Doulton from the late 1920s to the 1950s, as well as initially designing vases for the Lambeth Art Studios. His first figure for Doulton was Contentment with model number HN389. In 1929 he created another model Contentment featuring a Mother and Child sleeping (model HN1323).

cntentment leslie harradine's first figure for Doulton

Leslie Harradine’s Contentment for Doulton in 1929

Although known as Leslie Harradine he was born Arthur Leslie Harradine in Lambeth to parents Charles Percy and Jessie Harradine (nee Tealby) in 1887. He first joined the Doulton Lambeth studio as an apprentice in 1902 working under George Tinworth, whilst at the same time studying at the Camberwell School of Arts. He initially worked in the studios on vases and Toby jugs, but his main interest was in clay sculpture and the design of free standing figures.

A large Doulton Lambeth seated Toby jug by Leslie Harradine raised on a domed base with flask and goblet

A large Doulton Lambeth seated Toby jug by Leslie Harradine raised on a domed base with flask and goblet

His designs came to the attention of Charles Noke who was Art Director at the time but as he was not able to model figures as much as he wanted or to start his own factory he actually left Doulton in 1912 to start a farm with his brother Percy in Canada.

Leslie Harradine for Royal Doulton a stoneware Whist Booby figure circa 1910

Leslie Harradine Whist Booby figure circa 1910 sold for £250 at Kingham Auctioneers, June 2021

Farming proved difficult, but when possible Leslie continued to create and paint models from clay. In 1916 Leslie and his brother Percy left Canada for the Great War. He was injured and whilst in hospital he met his future wife Edith Denton whom he married in 1917, and the following year became a father to his first child Jessie. Leslie and his family moved back to England in 1918 with the intention of opening a studio in London. Shortly after his return Charles Noke offered Leslie a job as a figure designer at the Burslem. However, the position was refused but eventually he agreed to work on a  freelance basis and in 1920 his Royal Doulton figure entitled Contentment was released.

Harradine modelled and created figures for Royal Doulton on a freelance basis for over forty years. He had a way of working peculiar to him and probably only allowed because of his undeniable talent and genius – he would decide what to model and when to send those models in to the factory at Burslem, sometimes up to three at a time, on a monthly basis.  It is said that the other designers and painters would all gather round eagerly when his monthly shipment was unpacked to see what he had “come up with this time”.

Royal Doulton SUNSHINE GIRL HN1348 by Leslie Harradine c1930

Royal Doulton SUNSHINE GIRL HN1348 by Leslie Harradine c1930

Many iconic and popular models were created, as well as series of models including those already mentioned earlier in the feature the Balloon Seller, Scotties, Sunshine Girl and the popular Dickens Series but also figures from his rendition of The Beggars Opera, and the famous and slightly risque models of The Bather. Many of Harradine’s models stayed in production for many years but some only for a year or two. These models are often the rarest and sometimes the most valuable.

The Bather HN687 Leslie Harradine for Royal Doulton

The Bather HN687 Leslie Harradine for Royal Doulton

 

Harradine’s last model for Doulton was The Beggar with a model number HN2175 and was released in 1956 and was produced until 1962.

The Beggar HN2175 by Leslie Harradine

The Beggar HN2175 by Leslie Harradine

Arthur ‘Leslie’ Harradine died on 6 December 1965, in Gibraltar at age 78, leaving an amazing legacy of models and designs that makes him one of the world’s finest modellers.

Related
George Tinworth – The Greatest Doulton Lambeth Designer

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