Troika Pottery has become one of the most collected forms of modern British pottery with it’s distinctive colours, incised and geometric designs it has attracted many collectors. Early works from two of the company’s founders Leslie Illsley, and Benny Sirota are especially collectable with prices for rarer items reaching well into four figures. The third member of Troika was sleeping partner Jan Thompson. Troika Pottery was founded in 1962 and produced pottery until 1983 and was named by the three founders from the Russian тройка, meaning “a set of three”, or triumvirate. They took over the Powell and Wells Pottery at Wheal Dream, St Ives, Cornwall, where Sirota had previously worked as a decorator and driver. The group wanted to pursue their vision of pottery as art, without regard to function which ran counter to the aims of much of the studio pottery movement at the time, as epitomised by the work of Bernard Leach (see Bernard Leach the Father of British studio pottery). Illsley and Sirota wanted to create distinctive, individualistic wares and they were not afraid to experiment with unconventional production ideas, methods and materials including emulsion paint and melted broken glass. Fantastic designs began to be produced including Cycladic masks with Aztec-style decoration and the heavily textured monolithic wares that were to become a trademark, the pottery pillar vase, plaques with raised geometric patterns and geometric lamp bases. The Troika venture rapidly became successful, gaining both critical praise and very high sales through a combination of the summer tourist trade and contracts in 1968 with Heals and Liberty in London. The pottery moved from Wheel Dream for larger premises in Fradgan Place, Newlyn in 1970. In the mid 1970s sales began to go down as trends changed, Benny Sirota left in 1980, and with declining sales, the business closed in 1983. Troika at Auction Troika Pottery on ebay Troika Designers and Marks Troika Pottery marks were handwritten. Some designers have the same initials such as Avril Bennett and Alison Brigden. Selected examples below. New
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). 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. 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. 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”. 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. Harradine’s last model for Doulton was The Beggar with a model number HN2175 and was released in 1956 and was produced until 1962. 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
Readers who were children during the 1950s may well have fond memories of a very rare type of doll – the Beauty Skin. Made by Pedigree, these lovely dolls were certainly not rare at the time. On the contrary they were very popular, especially with young children, because they were so soft and cuddly. Sadly, though, the dolls had a fault – they tended to disintegrate after a few years of play. Pedigree Beauty Skin dolls first appeared in the late 1940s, and were popular until the mid-1950s. They came in four sizes, but the smallest had a rubber head, unlike the hard plastic of the larger sizes. These rubber-headed dolls were 9” high, while the hard plastic headed versions were 14”, 16” and 20”. Although their heads were hard plastic, their bodies were made from a soft thin rubbery latex material and their limbs were of a similar substance, stuffed with kapok. They had pretty faces, often with flirty eyes, and most had moulded hair. Gradually, after lots of loving and cuddles, the latex would split or turn brittle, and the kapok would emerge, leaving a split and empty arm. Eventually, the dolls would be so damaged that they would be thrown away, which is why they are so rare today. Some people tried to stop the splits with sticking plaster, but this was a disastrous thing to do, because once stuck to the latex it could never be removed. It would turn grubby and unsightly. Sadly some owners of the dolls still resort to this method of stopping the kapok emerging, today, but it is not recommended. If you are lucky enough to own one of these dolls, but it has split, then the best thing to do is to place a soft garment on the doll – cardigan or leggings, depending on where the split is – and then handle it as little as possible. Just leave it alone, and hope that it doesn’t get worse. At the time, Pedigree recommended that talcum powder should be rubbed in to the latex, but I am wary of this treatment, unless the doll is actually sticky, as it could dry out the latex even more. Sun, warmth and the rigours of handling played havoc with that delicate skin, and modern central heating dries them out, too. (Most people in the fifties didn’t have to worry about central heating; they made do with a coal fire downstairs and cold bedrooms!) I called my first Beauty Skin baby Jeannie, and loved her very much, but eventually she was so damaged, I couldn’t play with her. So when I was asked what I would like for Christmas – I must have been about six – I asked for another soft doll, just like Jeannie. I found Isabelle on Christmas morning wearing a white satin dress, lying in a little blue-draped metal crib. I loved Isabelle dearly, and I had her for many years, even though her right arm slowly, but completely, disintegrated. I used to take her on holiday with me, and she rode in my doll’s pram. Eventually the day came when my mother decided I was ‘too big’ for dolls, and so most of my babies had to go. Isabelle had to be put into the dustbin – no-one would want a doll with a perished arm – though Mum kindly offered to do it for me, knowing how much I loved that doll. When I started collecting dolls, I searched everywhere for a Beauty Skin, and kept a lookout at all the doll fairs, but no luck. Then one day, about six years ago, my daughter and I visited our local Collectors’ Centre. Suddenly I saw her pick up a doll from a table, and turn to me in triumph. She had found me a Pedigree Beauty Skin! Apart from one tiny crack in the rubber skin on the palm of one hand, she was perfect, and was the first one I had seen since my beloved Isabelle was thrown in the dustbin all those years ago. She is slightly larger than my original Isabelle, and her face is a little different, but her fingers, her toes, the way her moulded hair is shaped into little curls around her forehead, are just as I remembered. My Beauty Skin wears her original white satin-edged cotton romper suit, and takes pride of place in my doll cabinet. Now, though, she normally has a light cotton dress and jacket placed over the top of her romper, just to ensure that when she is handled no damage can get to her skin. A couple of years later, my daughter came hurrying over to me at a doll fair, to say she had found another, smaller, Beauty Skin! This one was just 9” high, and was immaculate, with a soft head, rather than the hard plastic head of the larger-sized Beauty Skin babies. Still boxed and wearing her blue dress, bonnet and socks, she must have been ex-shop stock. Then, recently, I came across yet another large Beauty Skin. This one, although not in such perfect condition as our other doll, is, I believe, unplayed with, but poor storage has caused her to disintegrate on one thigh. However the facial colouring is wonderful, with cheeks as pink as the day they were painted. She is 16” tall, wears her original lilac and pink romper suit and lacy net socks, and comes with her box and even the delightful letter which Pedigree gave to all the new young ‘mothers’ of Beauty Skin babies. This delightful ‘hand-written’ letter reads: ‘My Dearest Mummy, I love you, I hope that you will love me too. Be careful not to let me fall, I am a Baby – after all! To keep me always fresh and sweet, Just sponge me over, top to feet, Then gently dry and powder me, And I’ll be clean as clean can be,. I’m ready Mummy Dear for fun, And go to sleep […]
The Cube Teapot was a combination of modern design, successful advertising and British innovation. This made the Patent Cube Teapot a revolution of its day. Now it is a rare and stylish collectable item that conjures up images of the times when “everything stopped for tea”. The Cube Teapot was a quest to find the “Perfect Teapot”, one that did not drip tea when poured and was easily stored away when not used without the worry of the spout being chipped. Many companies had tried to create this perfect item but rather than change the whole design they had just concentrated on one of the defects. It was only when the Cube Teapot came onto the market that the all the problems were solved. The entrepreneur Robert Crawford Johnson was responsible for the design of this revolutionary new teapot and registered “Cube Teapots Ltd” in 1917. He perfected the sought after design, one that did not drip, poured easily and was chip resistant, together with easy stacking for storage. With no spout or projecting handle the cube teapot looked exactly as it sounds – a cube. Even though it was registered in 1917 the first teapot was not actually put in to production until 1920 and it claimed to be the climax in teapot construction. The first company to produce this teapot in earthenware was “Arthur Wood” of Stoke-on-Trent. But by the mid twenties this company was not the only one to make the cube and there were variations on cubic designs by other companies who were not all producing under licence. As with any successful innovative idea there are always rivals and copies, and Johnson sought on different occasions to take legal advice although he was unable to take any actual action against his rivals. James Sadler and Sons as we know today are specialists in novelty teapot designs had produced many ranges of teapots such as the “Nesta” range which were popular with the restaurant trade as they stacked neatly on top of each other, another of their designs was the “Handy Hexagon” an almost identical design to Johnson’s cube. Johnson aware that the problem needed to be tackled decided that the only course of action was a strategic marketing plan. In 1925 he formed “CUBE Teapots Co., Ltd” and embarked on the marketing and distribution of the cube teapot and similar tea ware. Percy Aspinall was one of the directors and emphasised in his campaigns that the original article was far more appealing than any imitation. A huge marketing campaign was launched to help retailers sell the product, it included colourful showcards and booklets but the most exciting was a moving display in the window of the Leicester Showrooms of a lady perfectly pouring from the cube. This campaign was a huge success with anyone who is anyone wanting a cube teapot and the companies producing under licence increased to include big names such as Wedgwood & Co Ltd and T.G. Green & Co. Ltd. There had been a continual growth of tearooms in Britain, a place where ladies could acquire refreshment in a public place. Lyons Corner Houses are probably one of the most well known and the country’s largest and with such an expanding tea business the cube teapot was exactly what the industry had been waiting for. The Cube not just popular in cafes and restaurants became used at sea on the Transatlantic Ocean Liners. This is the epiphany of the twenties to me, drinking tea out of a teapot whilst cruising the oceans at a time where transatlantic travel was the only way to go! The Cunard Line was one of the companies using the tea ware although other vessels that were not Transatlantic Liners used it on board as well. Probably the biggest contract for the teapot was when Cunard wanted the Cube supplied on its greatest liner Queen Mary. Used by all from First Class downwards it was a daily occurrence to see people sipping their morning tea having been poured from the Cube Teapot. Because it was only the shape of the teapot that was patented potteries could decorate it how they pleased. There are many differently decorated pots, my favourite being the bold bright colours of T.G. Green but variations on decoration go from one extreme to the other. The most commonly found Cube teapots today are the simple plain white ones, or the Ivory Banded Cubes used on the Queen Mary and Queen Elizabeth which were supplied by Brain’s Foley China. Unusual decoration such as the “Shagreen” effect again by Foley or the Grimwades earthenware models are a lot harder to find on the secondary market, recently a plain Grimwades model sold for £40. As with all good things they have to come to an end and the demise of the Cube was in the early 1950s when other modern teapot designs became popular. I believe that the key to its success was definitely the high volume of self-promotion. It was also a modernist design at a time when change was accepted and welcomed with opened arms. I am always on the look out for affordable and unusual collectables and the Cube teapot definitely sits in that bracket. Although a good mint condition one is hard to find I think the hunt would certainly be worth the effort because image how you could impress any guest that might pop in on the off chance for afternoon tea! THE CUBE TEAPOT FACTS. DID YOU KNOW? · Minton’s supplied Cunard Liners Mauretania and Aquitania · Myott and S. Fielding & Co. Ltd supplied the QE2 · T.G. Green famously known today with collectors for Cornish Ware produced the Cube palette and cup. · Foley China Works supplied bone china Cube Teapots to both Queen Mary and QE2. · George Clews and Co. Ltd produced stoneware Cube sets for the state rooms on board Queen Mary. · It was said that the cube was the largest sale of any patent teapot […]
The brass basins, dishes and bowls created in Nuremberg, Bavaria in the 15th, 16th and 17th century are often referred to by collectors as ‘alms dishes’ hence the collective term Nuremberg Alms Dishes. Although Nuremberg was the leading centre for base metal production in Europe at the time, the manufacture of brass dishes were also made in Dinant and the surrounding area from Bouvingnes to Aachen, and up to the Netherlands. The Nuremberg brass dishes were exported all over Europe including England. During the period all metals were expensive even brass and the alms dishes produced, although functional, were often purchased by wealthy townspeople who would display decorative domestic objects to give the impression of wealth, style and status to guests. Brass dishes were a less expensive alternative to the silver and gold displayed in the European courts. The dishes were often embossed and decorated with secular and religious scenes including: Coats of Arms; scenes from the Bible such as the fall of man, the annunciation and The Spies of Canaan; inscriptions; scenes from Classical Mythology; stags, flying harts etc. Some dishes are inscribed with an ownership mark which shows that these objects were significant possessions. The dishes were embossed by hammering/beating the brass into a steel die. Other features were punched through. Inscriptions and lettering were often added but these were often meaningless. One of the reasons that Nuremberg became the main centre for the production was the strength of the local guilds. The Nuremberg Guilds Unlike other production centres which were governed by guilds, Nuremberg craftsmanship was governed by the Town Council. The council was made up members of the most powerful Nuremberg families who controlled the standard of craftsmanship within the town. The strictest professions were the trades bound by oath. Craftsmen had to take an oath to follow strict rules of production in order to be able to practice their trade. The Basin Beaters, who made brass dishes and bowls, became an oath bound trade in 1471. Rules included a restriction on the number of apprentices and journeymen each master could have and a regulation that apprentices must be citizens of Nuremberg. This helped to protect the town’s production and to ensure that no one craftsman became more powerful than the rest. (Source V&A) As the dishes went out of fashion at the end of the 17th century many found there way into the churches and were used as ‘alms dishes’. Nuremberg Alms Dishes Price Guide From looking at the recent auction prices there is enormous variation in the value of different Nuremberg dishes. Although some are four to five hundred years old, they were made in such numbers that many have survived and many in relatively good condition. Simpler designs range from £50 / $70 to £200 / $300. A dish featuring St George and the Dragon sold for £4,600 at Halls Auctioneers in 2012. A few more examples are pictured in this feature. Nuremberg Alms Dishes Reference Collections at V & A Nuremberg Basin at https://www.antiquemetalware.org.uk/
Raggedy Ann Dolls by Sue Brewer @bunnypussflunge Raggedy Ann Dolls are one of the great American classic dolls. Instantly recognisable with her beaming smile, red triangular nose and round black eyes, Raggedy was originally a storybook doll. Unlike the majority of dolls which are devised purely for commercial reasons, Raggedy Ann was created for the nicest reason of all – she was created through love. Her creator was an artist and storyteller called Johnny Gruelle, who told the tales and drew the delightful pictures to entertain his small daughter when she was ill – or so the story goes. However, the anecdotes woven around the creation of this charismatic doll have become embellished, contradicted and disputed over the years, so no-body really knows for certain. Johnny’s small daughter was named Marcella, and one anecdote has it that while she was playing in the attic she discovered an old cloth doll with a faded face, which had belonged to her grandmother. Her father drew a new face onto the doll, and it was she who became immortalised as Raggedy Ann. Marcella was enchanted, and from then on, Raggedy Ann became her constant companion, inspiring her father to tell stories to the little girl about her doll. Tragically, Marcella died when she was still quite young from a smallpox vaccination which became infected, and it was then that Johnny took the decision to publish the stories which she had loved, for other children to share – it was his tribute to his daughter. He patented and trademarked the Raggedy Ann design in 1915. Over the years, numerous editions of the books have appeared, though they have never been as popular in Britain as they are in the United States. Other characters have been introduced too, perhaps the most famous being her brother Raggedy Andy, Beloved Belindy, Uncle Clem and the gloriously-named ‘Camel With Wrinkled Knees.’ The stories tell how Raggedy Ann, a sweet kindly doll – because she has a candy heart – comes to life when humans aren’t around, and has great adventures with her brother, Andy. First in the series was ‘Raggedy Ann Stories’, which was published in 1918 by the P. F. Volland company, who later followed up the success with a character Raggedy Ann doll. The rest is history. More stories followed; Raggedy Ann’s Magical Wishes, The Paper Dragon, Raggedy Ann in the Deep Deep Woods and Raggedy Ann and the Left-Handed Safety Pin amongst many, many others. Raggedy Ann dolls have been made for almost as long as the books have been published. Apparently Johnny Gruelle persuaded his family to make some cloth dolls to accompany the earliest of the books, maybe for shop display purposes, we can’t be sure now. One delightful rumour said that each doll was given a candy heart which read ‘I Love You’, just as Raggedy Ann has in the story books. So far, this hasn’t be proved – old dolls don’t seem to contain any remnants of candy, though it is a charming idea. Many people, especially in America, concentrate on Raggedy Ann and Andy, forming immense collections of dolls and other memorabilia. The dolls have been made by manufacturers such as Volland, Knickerbocker, Russ, Playskool and Dakin. One hangtag reads, ‘These stories – infused with a father’s pure, simple love – became immortal.’ The early Raggedy Ann dolls often had brown hair, and less of a caricature face than later Raggedy Anns. Volland dolls were made during the 1920s and 30s, and many are highly prized, while even those from some of the later companies, Knickerbocker for instance, are increasing in price, especially in America where Raggedy Ann is one of the most famous character dolls. In Britain, she is much less-widely known, and frequently gets muddled with the ‘Orphan Annie’ character who later became the star of a musical and movie. Raggedy Ann is often dressed in a pinafore worn over a cotton print frock and stripy red stockings. Perhaps the most expensive of the early dolls, occasionally found today, is Beloved Belindy, a plump black doll wearing a headscarf. She appeals not only to Raggedy Ann enthusiasts but to the collectors of black dolls as well. Recently, R. John Wright, the famous creator of exquisite felt toys and dolls, produced a beautiful version of the young Marcella, holding her Raggedy Ann. Standing 17 inches high, the little girl has a pensive expression, and is dressed in a yellow print dress and straw bonnet, which is tied with a wide blue ribbon. She clutches her beloved Raggedy Ann. R. John Wright has also created particularly jaunty versions of both Raggedy Ann and Andy, 17 inches high, made from pure wool felt. He maintains that they are the most authentic Raggedy Ann & Andy dolls ever made. As Raggedy Ann is such a traditional character, and, being a rag doll, is relatively easy to make, thousands of home-made copies have appeared over the years, some of them excellent, others very basic. Beware when you are buying a doll which you haven‘t examined, especially if buying from ebay, because it is all too easy to be fobbed off with a copy. Having said that, many collectors are happy with the copies too, feeling that they are all part of Raggedy Ann’s history. A special museum devoted to Raggedy Ann Dolls opened in 1999 in Arcola, Illinois. Called The Johnny Gruelle Raggedy Ann & Andy Museum, it is the only officially licensed Raggedy Ann & Andy museum in the world. The museum also sells dolls, books and memorabilia. And in 2005, Raggedy Ann celebrated her 90th anniversary, prompting several companies to produce commemorative versions of the doll. Johnny Gruelle, who died in 1938, eventually became known as ‘The Raggedy Ann Man’ – he would no doubt be astounded could he know that his sweet creation was still widely collected and very much loved today. Raggedy Ann Dolls values and Raggedy Ann Dolls price guide Realised prices at auction give a reflective price […]
Nailsea glass was originally an inexpensive means of introducing radiant colour into farmhouse and cottage. This was because the basic glass was pale green bottle-glass or, from about 1815, crown glass. Such glass was not subject to the excise tax of sixpence per pound levied on flint-glass. Colourful curios in many shades of blue, green, amber and red, which might be flecked, mottled or striped, were made not only at Nailsea in Somerset but by the glassmen of Sunderland, Newcastle, Stourbridge, Wrockwardine Wood in Shropshire, Alloa in Scotland and elsewhere.
The Chessell Pottery was founded in 1978 by Sheila and John Francis in the pretty village of Chessell on the Isle of Wight.
Doll manufacturers were constantly experimenting with materials in an attempt to replace bisque china which so easily was broken. Various substances were tried including wood, celluloid, fabric, metal and a mixture of glue, sawdust and rags called composition. Pictured: Hard Plastic BND doll When plastic was invented it seemed that the search was over – here was a product which was not only virtually unbreakable, but was light to handle and could even be washed. In the late 1940s dolls made from hard plastic flooded the UK market. Companies such as Pedigree, Roddy, Palitoy, Chiltern, Rosebud and BND created all manner of lovely dolls from this new wonder product, while, in the US, Madame Alexander, Effanbee, Arranbee, Ideal, Mattel and Vogue did likewise. A further breakthrough came when vinyl was developed. Now dolls were soft to hold and could have hair rooted directly into their heads, instead of wearing glued-on wigs. By the 1970s, dollmaking in Britain reached its zenith and shops were filled with the classic dolls we’ve all come to love – First Love, Tiny Tears, Katie Kopycat, Tippy Tumbles, Amanda Jane, Babykins, Sweet April, Victoria Rose, Baby Needs You, Baby Won’t Let Go and Sasha. Pictured: Tiny Tears Vinyl Palitoy doll American dolls poured in, amongst them the innovative Cabbage Patch which caused long queues to form outside toyshops in the 1980s. Continental dolls such as those made by Gotz, Jesmar and Zapf came too. Today, most of the British companies have disappeared or been integrated into other concerns. Zapf’s Baby Born is one of the top-selling dolls, while Playmates’ Amazing Amy and Famosa’s Baby Expressions will surely be future collectables. Pictured: First Love Vinyl Pedigree and Bluebird Dolls are becoming even more lifelike as artists create breathtakingly-beautiful high-quality vinyl dolls which rival the finest porcelain, and already collectors are seeking out playdolls from the 1940s, 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s. They are the antiques of tomorrow!
When considering the talented designers of the Doulton Lambeth factory, there is one woman whose impressive works cannot go unmentioned. Hannah Barlow was not only one of the most innovative and skilled designers of this famed factory but also a pioneer in her own right due to the fact that she was the ever first female artist to be employed by the South London based Doulton Lambeth Studio. Pictured right: A pair of Hannah Barlow stoneware deer and stag vases impressed marks — 38cm. high. Sold for £2,820 at Christies, London, August 2000. Born into a family of nine children in 1851, Hannah lived in Bishop’s Stortford with her Bank Manager father, Benjamin and his wife. At an early age Hannah already had a talent for drawing and would take walks in the surrounding countryside to sketch the plant and animal life that resided there. This interest in nature was something which would stay with Hannah throughout her life and became the subject matter that was so prolific in all of her future works. Realising her talent for art, in 1868 Hannah enrolled in the Lambeth School of Art to progress this skill. It was a few years later in 1871, that, along with other fellow students, Hannah began to work for the local Doulton Lambeth pottery which had recently diversified from producing industrial ceramics to more elaborate art pottery and decorative wares. Great artists such as George Tinworth, Frank Butler and Hannah Barlow would skilfully decorate the salt-glazed brown stoneware vessels that Doulton were now creating and were allowed to choose the type of decoration themselves and what shape of vessel to apply this design to. Although Hannah was to be the first female designer employed by Doulton she was not the only talented artist in her family to join the British factory. Both her brother Arthur and sister Florence also possessed an artistic flare and attended the Lambeth School of Art, before joining their sister, and furthering their careers by working alongside her for the Doulton pottery. The two sisters, Hannah and Florence, both shared a love of nature, so it was agreed early on in their working careers, that Hannah would concentrate on designs inspired by animals whilst her sister indulged her passion for flowers and produce floral designs. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – A Pair of Salt-glazed Vases, circa 1895 each vase incised with three bulls and two horses grazing within a rugged country landscape 28.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist’s monogram. Sold for £1,062 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Both were extremely talented artists and their work was very realistic. Each would initially sketch a design then using the technique of Sgraffito (incising) they would apply the design into the wet clay of a vessel before it was fired. Every piece that was produced by the artists at the Doulton studio was hand-decorated, thus ensuring that each item was unique in design, technique and decoration. Hannah excelled at creating illustrations of animals with some of her favourite subjects being British farm animals such as sheep, horses and pigs. Many examples of her work have sold for respectable prices at salerooms all over the world; her works of art are highly sought after by collectors. Recently a shallow bowl dating to 1883 sold at Bonhams Saleroom for £2,300. Artistically incised with pigs and hens this piece is synonymous with Hannah Barlow and as such, commands a price that is expected for this female designer’s work. Another example, also sold at Bonhams. were an outstanding pair of early vases dating to 1873. These twin handled vessels were incised with six Trojan Style horses which showed them cantering and galloping across fields. An unusual example, this vase sold for a staggering hammer price of £4,800. Pictured right: Hannah Barlow for Doulton Lambeth – An Early Salt-Glaze Jug with Horse, 1874 incised with a horse portrait and stylised leaf decoration 25.5cm high, with impressed Doulton Lambeth mark and incised artist monogram Sold for £325 at Bonhams, London, April 2014. Aside from the more common domestic farm animals, Hannah was inspired by many different living creatures. Her work was often embellished with countryside inhabitants such as rabbits and foxes, but she also liked to draw and incise more exotic animal motifs such as lions and kangaroos. This Australian inhabitant first appeared in 1878 on a tea service and proved popular so Hannah continued to apply this motif to all sorts of other various shaped vessels. It is said that Hannah was possibly inspired to sketch and decorate pieces with kangaroos because of the preparations for the Sydney International Exhibition which took place in 1879. Wherever Hannah gained her inspiration, her skill became evident when she would expertly sketch a scene that almost came alive when applied to the various vases, dishes and jardinières that she worked on. Hannah’s talent for drawing, combined with her skilled eye for design ensured that each piece created was not only a stunning ceramic work of art but also a living window into the animal kingdom. Her work was worthy of a place on the wall in an art gallery. Pictured left: Hannah Barlow (Fl.1871-1913) & Florence Barlow (Fl.1873-1909) Pair Of Vases, Circa 1890 stoneware, hand decorated, incised with rabbits, and pâte-sur-pâte painted birds, impressed Doulton Lambeth, incised artist’s monograms, numbers 443 & 742, assistants marks 7¾ in. (19.7 cm.) high. Sold for £4,375 at Christies, London, September 2009. Hannah was prolific in her work during the forty years that she was employed by the British Doulton Studio, and was responsible for creating some of the most innovative and finest designs in stoneware. An accomplished artist, not only is she remembered as one of the most celebrated designers of the 19th Century but also as a pioneering female ceramicist whose work will hopefully continue to command the prices that are so deserving. Fact File Doulton & Co was founded in 1815. In 1871 Henry Doulton set up the Lambeth Studio in South London Hannah Barlow indulged her passion for animals by […]