Royal Doulton “Iris” V1346
Sometimes there are designs which you come across which are simply blindingly beautiful, and this happened when I saw this design as a set for the first time.
I don’t collect or buy a lot of Royal Doulton, but I do really like some of their series from the first half of the 20th Century, in particular from the Art Deco Era.
This is the era in which Doulton created some outstanding designs which were popular for decades to follow.
The pattern is “Iris” V1346, which was manufactured between 1937 and 1940 – officially not in the Art Deco Era – but such an archetypal art deco design with its design of an Iris. The angles and forms are also an identifier of the Art Deco era.
The shapes I think are actually very similar to Royal Copenhagen of the same period – like Fensmark and Quaking Grass.
The hand painting on this set is exquisite, as is the use of colour and line. Each piece is like a work of art and it’s fascinating to see how it all fits together – e.g. when the cup is on the plate how the shapes and design relate to each other so well.
Royal Doulton “Rosslyn” D5399
After 80+ years Royal Doulton Rosslyn is still a very popular design in Australia. It is probably because it was so popular in its period – (designed in 1933 but produced for years) as a wedding gift – that many people grew up with either their mother or grandmother having at least a few pieces of the set, if not the whole thing. In this era dinner sets were huge, and usually consisted of over 100 pieces.
What I like about the Rosslyn pattern is its Art Deco look with the stylised floral motif combined which is combined with black line work on a cream coloured glaze. The floral design isn’t over fussy, and has an almost Japanese quality about it.
The black line work also reminds me of the Architecture of that period too and of the Californian Bungalow style (1920-1939) with its black timber work staining in each room (“Japaning” as it was called).
There was also a version of this which instead of the black outline, had an orange outline – but to me that version does not work. The orange line looks lost on the design, which loses its impact because of it.
Below are some images of pieces in this design which have passed through my hands. Read more
Aluminia Royal Copenhagen Morgenfrue/Calendula
This pattern is called Calendula (or Morgenfrue) and was produced by Aluminia Royal Copenhagen faience from 1934 to 1967, such was its popularity and timeless qualities. The design is by the iconic designer and potter NILS THORSSON.
What I like about this design is the great combination of colours and the simple orange flower motif (the Calendula).
The base colour is a lovely pale cream which is complimented by the simple orange flower, lovely woven texture rims, and dark green detailing on the rims and leaves.
Aluminia had been established in Copenhagen in 1863. In 1882, the owners of Aluminia purchased the Royal Copenhagen porcelain factory. From 1901-1928 Alumina had a renewed era of success under Chairman Joachim (1870-1943) and Harald Slott-Møller (1864-1937).
In 1928 Nils Thorsson took the factory to its new and final era before closing in 1969, although Royal Copenhagen continued to use the name of Alumina for some of its ware for a time afterward. Nils Thorsson continued to work for Royal Copenhagen into the 1970s.
Aluminia Morgenfrue Bowl
Royal Copenhagen Quaking Grass
When designing Quaking Grass, (pattern number 884) Thorkild Ohlsen developed beautiful and subtle porcelain forms with elegant lines, and perfect proportions. This was combined with Art Nouveau and Oriental-inspired, hand-painted botanical elements in patterns that are timeless and elegant.
The forms designed for this service were to be used on many dinnerware designs that followed including the equally admired “Fensmark”.
Quaking Grass was produced from the early-30’s until approximately 1960, as it simply did not go out of style.
Quaking Grass derives it name from an early-19th century botanical illustration of the ‘Doxia’ plant, more-commonly known as ‘Quaking Grass’. This plant is common in the Scandinavian region, and is highly regarded for its golden “Japanese lantern” style seed pods that hang from long stems that ‘quake’ with the slightest breeze, giving each plant a charming quality that makes a field of Doxia dance with lively energy.
Ohlsen captured the delicacy and movement of this beautiful plant, in beautifully and delicately rendered leaves and stems of sage green, surmounted by seed pods rendered in gold. Each spray of Doxia is slightly different, demonstrating the skill of the painters of this ware.
This work was produced by painters who also painted the famous Danish botanical paintings on the illustrious ‘Flora Danica’ porcelain service produced by Royal Copenhagen The botanical motif is restricted to small central areas and sides of the individual plates and serving pieces, allowing the beautiful pale cream color of the porcelain to serve as the primary decorative element.
‘Quaking Grass’ was primarily sold in Europe and the United Kingdom, and was extremely expensive when new, with a full dinner service for 14 with serving pieces selling for nearly $5,000 in the Late-1950’s–an astronomical sum at a time when a service for 12 of Noritake, sold for around $150.00
Royal Copenhagen Quaking Grass
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark
Thorkild Ohlsen (1890-1973) was a Danish landscape painter and porcelain designer who produced a number of significant porcelain dinner services for Royal Copenhagen beginning in the early 1930’s.
Ohlsen was originally employed by Royal Copenhagen Porcelain in 1908, and was an important collaborator of Nils Thorsson. He continued to paint and exhibit his work during his lifetime.
At Royal Copenhagen he worked with both modeling and decoration, especially over-and underglaze painting, and he participated in the development of glazes. In his early work, a series of crackle ware from 1920 , is the decoration of iron red and gold, usually with botanical motifs.
I think one of the most elegant dinnerware ranges he designed was “Fensmark” c1930s– named after a town in Denmark of the same name. It is also known by its pattern number “1010”. It was in production for decades and the forms were used on a number of dinnerware series.
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Trio
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Milk Jug
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Serving Tureen
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Bowl
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Soup Plate
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Candle Holders
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Teapot
Royal Copenhagen Fensmark Serving Plate
Denby – Danesby Electric Blue 1924, U.K.
In 1924-5 Bourne-Denby as the British company was then known, introduced a decorative line called “Danesby Ware” of which the “Electric Blue” range was one of the outstanding and most popular lines. The Electric Blue glaze captured a new age of optimism and cheerfulness coming out of years of darkness during WW1
Originally inspired by the shapes of an Aladdin’s lamp, the outstanding feature of this range was the beautiful blue streaky and high gloss glaze. It was produced well into the 1930’s, and is still popular amongst collectors today.
Being stoneware it has lasted incredibly well, and the pieces I have photographed here are in superb condition. You can often fine Electric Blue in online stores in the U.K., and in Canada. The vase forms pictured here are probably the ones you will find most often – but there are some beautiful large jug forms which are much harder (and more expensive) to find.
They are such classical, elegant and beautiful shapes. Read more
Michael Andersen and Sons Pottery (MAS), Bornholm Denmark.
Michael Andersen & Sons was founded in the 1880s (from an earlier 18th Century Pottery) on the island of Bornholm, Denmark – one of the major centres of Danish pottery production during the 19th and 20th Centuries.
Jens Michael Andersen (1859-1931) who was the founder, had trained at the local Hjorth pottery.
His 4 sons worked in the pottery, and one son, Daniel (1885-1959) developed the iconic “Persia” glaze in 1935, which won an international award. The Persia glaze went on to be used on many designs well into the 1960s.
Persia Glaze Bowl with design by Marianne Starck, M.A.S. Denmark – The cat designs by Marianne Starck on different forms with a Persia glaze have become very collectable pieces.
Michael Andersen & Sons, Lamp with Persia Glaze – A simple blue pattern on the Persia glaze like this one seems to show it of to best effect – highlighting the lovely mother-of-pearl crackle of the glaze
It is the “Art Pottery” of the 1950s -1970s which MAS are now best known for worldwide…but I also love some of the Art Deco style designs from the 1930s – although these are harder to find in excellent condition now.
Michael Andersen & Sons, Art Deco Era Bowl