Three Day Auction to be held
Friday 28th June - Silver and items of Musical Interest
Saturday 29th June - English and European China including Royal Doulton
Sunday 30th June - Doulton Collection
Sunday Evening - Online Only Auction Doulton Collectables
Online from Friday 31st May
(catalogue link will appear here)
To be held at our Auction complex
7 Chapel Street
Norwood SA (Australia)
Dorothy and Victor were advised to develop an outside interest, as a distraction from the pressures of raising a child with a disability. From a very early age Dorothy had loved china, and the with the advice in mind the first pieces of Royal Doulton that they collected were a couple of plates, and they went on to collect the whole dinner set. This was the start of over 40 years of collecting.
Once they got the collecting bug, the lure of the chase to find more, and especially the elusive pieces, kept their interest going. They attended Royal Doulton club meetings in Adelaide & mixed with like minded collectors. On regular trips to England they fuelled their hobby by purchasing many pieces of Royal Doulton not available in Australia, to add to their collection.
Dorothy & Victor were quite competitive, so it should not surprise any of us that they continued to build their stellar collection over their lifetimes.
As Jasmine grew up, she joined them on their quest for Royal Doulton & proudly owned her own collection of figurines.
They shared with their neighbour and close friend, “it was their ambition to own at least one piece of every Royal Doulton series that was ever manufactured”, and when the Royal Doulton company was sold and reproduction pieces started appearing on the market from China, it spoiled the game that they had been so heavily involved in for so long.
Both Dorothy & Victor kept abreast of collecting trends & were very knowledgeable about every piece of china that they collected, keeping meticulous notes.
The collection served it purpose, it gave them a great deal of pleasure over the years & kept them all together through a shared and common interest.
It is now time to pass the collection over to the next “carers” and it was Dorothy's wish for the entire collection to be offered here in Adelaide.
I remember when a close colleague first told me of the Gifford Collection, and whilst I remember Vic and Dorothy for years hunting each auction room to buy Doulton, I didn't realise was the enormity of their collection.
Contained within a specially built “two storey wing” of their Beaumont house, a Doulton Collection the likes I have yet to see. When I first walked up the stairs I was unprepared for what awaited me!Literally hundreds and hundreds of pieces, many rare ones by George Tinworth, Charles Noke, Mark Marshall, the Barlow Sisters, and a few produced for world exhibitions, not to mention pieces from the Jade, Sung, “Kateroo”, Titanium and Flambe ranges.
The collection, amassed over 40 years from local auction rooms and International dealers is a hallmark for any collector, not just Doulton. The knowledge that passes with a collector cant be replaced, only shared with the hope that some of it is retained.
During cataloguing we went to great lengths to research and record the artists (and in many cases the assistant artists) for as many pieces we could identify (in excess of 800 lots of Doulton), further solidifying this knowledge.
We hope you enjoy the collection, it is my, humble and great pleasure to offer “The Gifford Collection” at Scammells.
Managing Director and Auctioneer
HISTORY OF ROYAL DOULTON
Royal Doulton celebrated 200 years of the pottery business in 2015. John Doulton, who formed the company, started very small but now the prestigious Royal Doulton is one of Britain's foremost and largest pottery companies, with over 30,000 products and an international clientele.
The story really starts way back in 1688. John Dwight, master potter, established the Fulham Manufacturing Company – the first to produce English stoneware. One of the apprentices was John Doulton, born in Fulham in 1793.
In the year 1815, a vigorous, energetic and harsh time, with Queen Victoria firmly on the throne, the Battle of Waterloo won, slavery legally abolished, and those convicts who escaped the gallows were being transported across the globe to Australia. (827 people transported in 1815, mostly for petty theft). A time for a young man to either sink without trace – or go on to make a name for himself.
And that is what John Doulton did.
In 1815, at 22 years of age, having served his pottery apprenticeship with distinction, John Doulton was offered a job by Martha Jones, a widower who owned a tiny pottery by the River Thames in Lambeth, London. John invested his life savings – around £100, in the business. Together with her foreman John Watts, the three formed the Jones, Watts and Doulton company and specialised in utilitarian, salt-glazed stoneware.
In 1835 John’s son Henry joined the business at just 15 years of age. He was to become one of the major influencers and innovators in the pottery industry. England suffered major cholera epidemics and in 1854 Dr John Snow demonstrated that the water from the pump in Broad Street, Soho, was a major source of the infection, and not the air as previously thought. New sewer pipes were laid to replace the old brick-lined ones, and these were manufactured by Doulton and Watts (Martha Jones having left the company in 1820).
The firm flourished and moved to new premises in Lambeth Street, London. New ways of engineering the industrial products made Doulton and Watts recognised globally as experts in this field. In 1854 John Watts retired and the company became Doulton & Company.
In 1860 a major innovation took place when pupils from Lambeth School of Art joined forces with the company. Many beautiful pieces were made, quite different from the original, industrial salt-glazed potware. Now bright colours, delicate modelling and brilliant decoration were offered to a voracious worldwide market. The pottery continued to develop and experiment with many new ways of decorating pottery including faïence, marquetry, impasto and rouge flambé.
One innovation brought in by Henry was the steam driven potter’s wheel which gave the firm about a 10-year advantage over competitors. 1873 saw the death of John Doulton, but his son Henry was gaining a reputation for innovation and sound business practice.
In 1882 another factory was built at Burslem, which still operates today. It produces handmade stoneware ceramics, high-quality figurines, handmade, hand-drawn and hand-painted vases.
Another step in the progress of the company was the purchase of a small factory “Pinder, Bourne & Co” in Staffordshire, thus the Doulton entered the potteries region of Britain with such companies as Spode Minton, Wedgwood and Royal Crown Derby were already ensconced in this area.
This new acquisition gave them the opportunity to produce fine bone china, winning accolade at International Exhibitions. They produced a wide range of decorative pieces in vibrant colours, using on-glaze and under-glaze enamelling techniques. Examples include figurines, tableware, gifts, collectables and glassware.
In 1885 Henry Doulton received the very prestigious “Albert Medal” from the Society of Arts for his artistic work. This was a considerable honour as only one such medal is awarded each year. In 1887, he was knighted by Queen Victoria, the first knighted potter, and just four years after Henry’s death, the company received the royal warrant from King Edward VII and became “Royal Doulton”, the name we are familiar with today.
In the following years, the tradition of innovation and design with talented artists continued. The headquarters of Royal Doulton was in Lambeth, at Doulton House, London on the south bank of the Thames. When the Lambeth factory closed in 1956, because of new regulations regarding pollution, which did not allow for the production of salt glazes within a city, the work was transferred to the potteries.
But Doulton House has its own story to tell.
Doulton house was a fine example of an art décor building, built in the 1930s. T.P. Bennett was the architect, and it became a prominent landmark facing the River Thames. Along the front, over the doorway, was a magnificent 50-foot long polychrome stoneware frieze created by Gilbert Bayes, Britain's foremost Art Deco sculptor.
Depicting pottery through the ages and was manufactured by the Doulton factory under the watchful eye of Bayes, who ensured the delicate blue and brown colours were perfect. The whole façade of Doulton House was fitted with cream and stoneware ceramic tiles and the frieze was set off by the black and gold pilasters.
After the sale of the property in 1956, the building remained empty for several years and in 1978 the building was to be demolished. While this didn’t cause an outcry, Royal Doulton did receive telephone calls from horrified members of the public. With no official help (except in turning a blind eye) volunteers from the Ironbridge Gorge Museum (159 miles away) chipped off the frieze in a few hundred irregular blocks which were then transported to Ironbridge, where they were stored whilst finding a place to display them.
Eventually, the Victoria and Albert Museum London acquired them in 1988 and the frieze was restored, with Royal Doulton having funded the rescue, the restoration and the display where you can still see a frieze of the potters and Sir Henry Doulton over the main entrance.