The Doulton Biscuit Barrel

Every antique has its own history, and that history is often linked to the history of the region of origin or the manufacturer. A nice example is a lovely Doulton Burslem Biscuit barrel with silver plated mounts and decorated with the Doulton Persian Spray pattern. This particular item screams about the history of a small pottery maker Pinder Bourne and how Pinder Bourne became incorporated into what is now known as Royal Doulton.

Doulton Burslem Biscuit Barrel 1886-1891 a



A lovely Doulton Biscuit Barrel decorated with the Doulton Persian Spray pattern dating to between 1886 and 1891. This item is currently for sale via our Ruby Lane shop

Pinder, Bourne and Co was established at the Swan Bank Works, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire in around 1848 by Thomas Pinder. They manufactured a range of earthenwares. By 1851, the company had moved to Fountain Place Burslem and the company name changed to Pinder Bourne and Hope. The company moved yet again to Nile Street, Burslem in 1860, and once again changed its name to Pinder Bourne and Co in 1862. In 1877, Henry Doulton was offered the opportunity of becoming a partner in Pinder Bourne and Co for the princely sum of £12,000, however Doulton and Pinder did not really get on very well, partially because the company wasted the £12,000, and matters were only resolved via arbitration. Pinder retired and Henry Doulton took over the firm, changing the company name to Doulton and Co. Pieces dating from about this time represented a mix of artistic influences, many of the old Pinder Bourne patterns were retained, but re-branded. For example, the Doulton Persian Spray pattern seen on our biscuit barrel was actually the Pinder Bourne and Co Pomegranate pattern.

At about the time of the Doulton takeover, John Slater the Pinder Bourne art director persuaded Doulton to expand into china as well as earthenware. The range of items produced increased incredibly and Doulton produced a vast array of figurines, character jugs, vases, and decorative wares. The products became steadily more popular eventually coming to the attention of King Edward the VII who granted the Royal Warrant that allowed Doulton to incorporate a crown into their back-stamp giving rise to what we now know as the excellent pottery company Royal Doulton.


Preparing for Stafford Bingley Hall Antiques Fair

Getting ready for an antique fair is always enjoyable. The preparations starts well in advance with a review of the stock. This is very important because different fairs have very different characters and attract very different buyers so the stock has to be matched to the venue. The next step is to put together a shopping list, this is a truly fun but a vital component of the preparation.  The shopping list has to be quite general, highlighting classes of antiques rather than specific items. Then comes the sourcing. Sourcing new stock can be both exciting and frustrating because success is very dependent on what is available at that time and being able to acquire desired items at the right price. Unsurprisingly, sourcing can be very time consuming, often involving hours in cold draft filled auction rooms or hours searching outdoor stalls at other antique fairs. However, there is the reward, a find that that fits the requirements at the right price. Buying stock isn’t the end of it, quite often new stock items have characteristics that need further research, for example an inscription on a piece of silver can add provenance, or an unusual makers mark on a piece of pottery or a piece of furniture. There is always an element of risk when buying, and that one item that looks good but you just need to check up on it to make sure. This adds a real thrill to the chase. The research component is accompanied by cleaning, servicing in the case of watches (All our watches are serviced by a very well established watch and clock maker JH Oxtoby and Sons) and photographing. We find that photographing our stock is very important. We keep a pictorial record of our purchases and this combined with good well-researched descriptions means that we build up a fantastic resource based on personal experience. Having done all that, all there is left to do is head off to the fair and set up.

For our next fair at Stafford Bingley Hall on the 8th, 9th and 10th of March we have sourced a whole load of goodies, see a tiny sample below (Figure 1). Come and visit us, we are easy to find being located on the red carpeted area by the ladies loos two stands down from the little shop.

Stafford pic 3Figure 1 shows A) An continental silver and gold Longines pocket watch dated to 1925, B)A silver footed bowl with hallmarks for Sheffield 1902 and makers marks for Fenton Russell & Co, weight approximately 16oz, C) An Edwardian 9ct gold double Albert watch chain (37 cm in length, weight approximately 18g) with a 9ct shield fob, D) A Victorian silver snuff box with hallmarks for 1859 and makers marks for Frederick Marson, and E) A Royal Worcester miniature porcelain tortoise, date marks for 1907.

%d bloggers like this: