Antiques column: Ever popular, romantic 'fair ladies'
At this time of year present buying is constantly on my wife's lips and the poor old moths have no peace inside my wallet.
This is also the time of year I think about Royal Doulton figures.
They have never been more reasonable to purchase and they make wonderful Christmas presents to boot.
Royal Doulton figures were one of the company’s most popular products. Firmly established by the early 20th century, their range now numbers around 2.000.
Popular amongst collectors are the “fair ladies” who, as the name suggests, are ladies posed in carefree romantic postures.
Values tend to be highest for the early figures from the 1920s and 1930s, or those with extremely short production runs, typically a year or less.
Key designers to look out for include Charles Noke, fascinated by entertainers; Leslie Harradine, known for his ladies in crinoline dresses; Peggy Davies, known for her teenagers and historical personalities; Nada Pedley, for romantic Victorian and Edwardian ladies and Pauline Parsons, the leading modeller of the “fair ladies”.
Besides the “fair ladies”, other popular collections include children, historical and literary personalities and miniature figurines.
The miniature figurines were launched in 1932 and again in 1988 and the most popular types are the Charles Dickens characters and the small versions of the “fair ladies”.
Some of the miniatures, if rare or desirable, will realise similar or even higher prices than their larger versions.
Royal Doulton figures at very reasonable prices, coupled with the Christmas season, perhaps now is the time to take the plunge and buy one.