Doulton Stoneware Pottery for Rogers Jones & Co Auction

A lifetime’s collection of important Doulton stoneware pottery by the gifted Hannah Barlow and her equally talented sister Florence comes under the hammer at Colwyn Bay, North Wales auctioneers Rogers Jones & Co on Tuesday March 30.

Much of the collection was acquired from sources in the Staffordshire Potteries between the years 1965-1980. Many of the monumental pieces, some almost two feet tall, are similar to Doulton’s exhibits at the Chicago Exhibition of 1893, widely regarded as the pinnacle of firm’s achievements.

Hannah Barlow is one of Doulton’s most popular and collected artists. She was the first woman artist to be employed by Henry Doulton, joining the company’s Lambeth studios in South London in 1871. Like many of her fellows, she was a former pupil of John Sparkes, the principal of Lambeth School of Art, and a close friend of Doulton, who helped her obtain the job. Her love of the country and wildlife led her to decorate her pots with incised studies of horses and other animals. She retired in 1913 after producing a range of wonderful art pottery for more than 40 years.

Like her sister, Florence also attended the Lambeth School of Art and joined Hannah at Doulton in 1873. Her forte was ceramic painting using a technique known as pâte sur pâte, literally body on body, which involved building up layer after layer of translucent slip to achieve a decoration that stands in relief from the surface of the object. Florence retired in 1909 having built a reputation as Doulton’s finest master of the technique.

Almost 100 pieces are on offer in the sale, which is expected to draw buyers from around the country and from the U.S. and Australia, where there is a particularly strong following for stoneware decorated by the Barlow sisters.

Highlights of the collection are numerous. By Hannah Barlow:
* An extremely fine pair of baluster vases each titled Le Fable and decorated with panels depicting prowling lions and their prey, a seated lion and a donkey. The piece by Hannah Barlow is illustrative of Aesop’s Fable in which the two animals form an alliance to capture the beasts of the forest with greater ease. (Estimate £500-800)
*A very fine pair of vases decorated with four panels of deer (£700-1,000)
*A single vase, 21 inches tall decorated with deer and a stag in a wooded landscape (£500-700)

By Florence Barlow:
*An 18-inch tall single vase decorated with panels of songbirds in fruit trees and wild flowers and reeds (£800-800)
*A pair of vases with blue tits perched among branches amid Art Nouveau decoration (300-500)
*A pair of vases decorated with pâte sur pâte parrots among branches and leaves (£200-300)

Elsewhere, the sale includes some good antique Welsh oak furniture, notably a dresser with plate rack back and potboard (estimate £1,000-1,500) and a deuddarn with three panel doors over a base with three drawers and two cupboards (£1,600-2,000).

An ebony and red boulle Victorian cabinet with sarcophagus style top and a single door with shaped glass pane decorated with ormolu mounts is estimated at £1,000-1,500.

Pick of a good selection of paintings is an oil on board of a Spanish walled village with church tower by Tristram Hillier RA (1905-1983) which is estimated at £3,000-5,000. After studying at the Slade and in Paris, Peking-born Hillier travelled widely in Europe, often living alone for several months. His scenes of sparsely populated Spanish villages under a bleaching sun were painted during the winter months, which he spent in Somerset.

Fans of Art Nouveau will be drawn to a table centrepiece made in Germany by the Württembergische Metalwarenfabrik company (WMF) in the early 1900s. The piece is modelled as an elegant lady in swirling dress holding aloft a leaf-decorated and pierced bowl (estimate £2,000-2,500) while an oval vase by the French master glass-maker Emile Gallé is decorated with a continuous mountain landscape (£1,000-1,400).

The sale is on public view with free admission from Sunday March 28 (2-4pm); Monday March 29 (1-7pm) and on the morning of the sale, which starts at 10.30. For further information, please contact the auctioneers on 01492 532176 or [email protected]

The Auction Rooms • 33 Abergele Road • Colwyn Bay • North Wales LL29 7RU • Tel: +44 (0) 1492 532176 • Fax: +44 (0) 1492 533308