The Art of Royal Doulton Figurines

The “Vogue of the Statuette” flourished during the 1920s, thanks to the popularity of Royal Doulton’s figurine collection. This new exhibition features highlights from the vast collection of Arthur Wiener and includes many rare early models, unique prototypes and trials, which were never produced. The evolution of figurative design during the last century has been traced by Louise Irvine, the author of many books about Royal Doulton’s rich history.

Royal Doulton’s art director, Charles J. Noke, commissioned designs from leading sculptors of the 20th century for his new figure collection, which was previewed during a royal visit to the factory. Queen Mary named the first figure Darling and it was numbered HN1 after Harry Nixon, the head figure painter. During the 1920s, the decorating studio expanded dramatically due to the talents of Leslie Harradine, who created a bevy of Art Deco beauties.

After World War Two, a succession of gifted artists contributed pretty ladies and character studies to the HN series, which continued to grow in popularity. Some of their ideas did not make it into production, which resulted in prototype models and color trials. The exhibition of these rare figures provide unique insights into Royal Doulton’s art direction and design process.