The first Royal Doulton figurines were produced in Lambeth, South London and Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent during the 1880s. Charles Noke, who would later become Art Director, was responsible for modelling many of the early figures and for developing the company’s famous HN collection launched in 1913. In the beginning, Noke commissioned figures from a number of independent sculptors but, in 1920 he secured the talents of Leslie Harradine, who became the mainstay of the collection for more than 30 years. Since the 1890s, more than 2,500 different figures have been added to the range and are collected around the world.
Beautifully modelled in translucent bone china, Royal Doulton ’Pretty Ladies’ figurines are handmade and hand-decorated and each bears the prestigious Royal Doulton backstamp, as well as a unique reference number. Often characterised by a toe peeping out from a swirling dress, their appeal can come from a romantic name or a beautiful gown.
‘Pretty Ladies’ have always been one of Royal Doulton’s most popular ranges of collectable china ornaments. Also known as ‘Fair Ladies’, they are a long-established part of the portfolio, beginning their modern life at the start of the HN Series of figures and the rebirth of Staffordshire figure making, inaugurated by Leslie Harradine and Charles Noke. Today, ‘Pretty Ladies’ are the epitome of a bygone age of elegance and romance, and have become as collectable for their individual artistry as Royal Doulton’s more contemporary ranges.