Captivating figures at rare ceramics show
THE world’s largest collection of Royal Doulton figurines has been acquired by Pascoe Ceramics of Miami, Florida, in the US and many of the rarest pieces will be on show and for sale for the first time at the Ceramic Art & Collectibles Exhibition to be held at the Southern Sun Grayston, in Johannesburg, this weekend.
This exceptional figurine collection was begun in the early 1980s by an American lady who became so passionate about Royal Doulton that she wanted to find every single figure design that the English china company made from the 1890s onwards. Thanks to specialist dealers like Ed Pascoe, she collected more than 3 000 figurines before she passed away earlier this year. Her granddaughter decided to sell the entire collection back to Ed Pascoe and he has been reunited with hundreds of rare pieces that he has not handled for over 30 years.
Many of the collector’s rarest discoveries were illustrated in the classic reference books on Royal Doulton Figures, revised in the 1980s and 1990s by Louise Irvine, and examples have not appeared on the market since. South African collectors will be excited to see all the figurines that Pascoe is bringing to Johannesburg as many have never been seen in this country before.
There are lots of keen Royal Doulton collectors in South Africa with a thriving club holding regular meetings in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal. One Durban collector is following in the footsteps of the American lady, having acquired more than 1 000 figurines to date.
Royal Doulton launched their famous HN collection of figurines in 1913 and the first design of a coy little child in a nightgown was named Darling by Queen Mary, who became the first Royal collector. HN stands for Harry Nixon who was in charge of the figurepainting department in the early years and issued HN pattern numbers for each new style.
Some popular figurines were made in up to 15 different colours and avid collectors seek out the most elusive designs which had limited production.
During the 1920s Royal Doulton figurines followed the fashions of the day with jazz age partygoers dressed as pierrots, clowns and butterflies. These Art Deco designs are particularly popular with today’s collectors and competition is stiff at auctions and specialist exhibitions. Limited edition and prestige designs also have a huge collector following around the world and some spectacular pieces, such as the Charge of the Light Brigade and Princess Badoura, are among the highlights of the forthcoming Pascoe exhibition.
Many newcomers to the world of Royal Doulton start with the company’s newer figurines. For example, many South African collectors are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the commemorative figurine depicting Catherine on the Royal Wedding Day which will be coming soon. While enjoying an absorbing new hobby and adding beauty and elegance to their homes, figurine collectors can leave a legacy for future generations, just as the American collector has done.
Discover more about Royal Doulton figurines at the Pascoe Ceramics event at the Southern Sun Grayston tomorrow and Sunday. Learn about the history and collectability of figurines from the internationally acclaimed British author, Louise Irvine.
You will also be able to meet Ed Pascoe, the world’s largest specialist dealer, from Miami, and add to your collections at this exceptional exhibition.
Three rare early Royal Doulton figures.
The most expensive Royal Doulton figure on the show: Princess Badoura. A rare Royal Doulton Clown figure.