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The Antiques & Interiors sale at Leyburn saleroom Tennants on September 8 includes a British Art Pottery selection. This features not only a group of Doulton Lambethware and other potteries such as Troika, Cobridge and Bretby, but another of Linthorpe Pottery, including pieces designed by Christopher Dresser.

Doulton fans

Myra and David Turner began collecting ceramics shortly after their marriage in 1959. During the 1970s their focus turned to Doulton Lambethware, and particularly the work of studio artists Hannah and Florence Barlow, George Tinworth and Eliza Simmance. Their collecting continued throughout their lives, diversifying to textiles and collectibles, but always with a focus on ceramics. 

Doulton was founded in 1815, as a partnership between John Doulton, Martha Jones and John Watts based at Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth. In its early days, the pottery produced stoneware sanitary ware, decorative bottles and jars and salt glaze sewer pipes.

In 1866 Henry Doulton, John’s son, launched a new range of art pottery from a studio at the Lambeth factory, employing artists from the Lambeth School of Art. The highly decorative stoneware art pottery caught the attention of both the public and Queen Victoria and the factory output became extraordinarily popular.

The present collection includes many pieces by Hannah and Florence Barlow, famed for their decorative animals and birds. Hannah is the most well-known of the Doulton artists, and worked at the factory for 42 years, retiring in 1913.

Hannah had a particular love of animals and was adept at incising their likenesses directly into the wet clay. Her younger sister Florence is noted for her fine birds, executed in a pâte-sur-pâte technique in a style that never changed.

Linthorpe in limelight

The second collection on offer focuses on Linthorpe Pottery. For 10 years, from 1879-89, Middlesbrough became a trend-setter for Victorian art and design, under the artistic influence of one Britain’s greatest designers and leading light in the Arts & Crafts movement: Christopher Dresser.

Established on the failed Sun Brick Works in Linthorpe Village, Middlesbrough, it produced a new type of art pottery, heavily influenced by Dresser’s fascination with Eastern and South American design.

From the start, Linthorpe Pottery was greatly admired by critics, and as it tapped into the Victorian interest in Orientalism and the Aesthetic Movement, proved popular with the masses. The simple designs and vivid glazes were designed to be beautiful, functional and economical.