Candle stick holder

When modernism goes bad
Circa 1896- 1897
Unknown artist
Doulton Lambeth
Manufacturers Location
Lambeth, South East (U.K)
Silicon stoneware


Silicon stoneware candlesticks


Marked with Doulton Silicon Lambeth, England stamp that can be dated to 1912- 1920. Also has the unknown artist initials 'ae' and number 8052.


None, good condition except for slight glaze cracking

Why it's in the Collection

The Doulton silicon lambeth candle stick has an appealing handmade quality to it.The neo-classical design echoes ancient Roman ceramic techniques and marks the Victorian trend in all things cameo. The mark of the potter's hand can be clearly seen in the different techniques used and ornamental filigree applicaes. 

The Doulton factory in Lambeth offered local art students immediate employment after their studies, many took up this offer and developed their careers within the company. They employed their first woman artist in 1871, Hannah Barlow, who went on to pioneer the employment of women artists within the potteries. Whether intentional or not, Doulton made an important contribution towards the development of Victorian womens rights and equality of status.

This is an interesting quote, found online and uncredited,

'The artists, nearly all ladies, have been allowed and indeed to a certain extent encouraged to develop in their own way whatever gifts for colour or design they may possess.'

'Women are always largely employed at Doulton for their patience, finger dexterity and deftness'

Many of Doulton's women artists, such as the Barlow sisters and Eliza Simmance played an important role in success of the company and rose quickly in the ranks to become leading designers and respected experts within their field. 

Allegedly, as a laboring child, Charles Dickens was said to have pasted labels on thousands of Doulton blacking bottles. 

About the Designer/Maker

Along with his inovations in ceramic art, Sir Henry Doulton (1820–1897) was instrumental in reducing the number of deaths from diseases such as cholera and dysentry. The epidemics of 1832 and 1864 saw the death of thousands of people. Dr. John Snow discovered the relationship of Cholera and the Broad Street pump. Doulton contributed greatly with the production of sewer pipe to improve the quality of the water supply. This enabled Doulton to became Britains leading manufacturer of sanitary-ware as well as a major influence and producer of artistic pottery and commemorative, ornamental and tableware products.

Henry also became known for his interest in the welfare of workers, a rare concern at a time when industrialists capitalized on cheap labor. Potteries generally were hazardous places during this time, as arsenic was used in painting and lead in glazing. Workers often succumbed to a debilitating lung disease then known as 'potter's rot'. In addition, laborers had to carry an enormous amount of weight, lifting several tons of materials from depths of eight to ten feet. To help workers with this burden, Henry Doulton obtained a mechanical hydraulic lifting device to help eliminate some of the manual labor. He also encouraged scientific research to determine more modern and safe methods of production.

About the Manufacturer

Royal Doulton can trace its ancestry back to 1815 with the founding of a factory at Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, London by John Doulton, in partnership with Martha Jones and John Watts. The firm specialized in making stoneware articles ranging from decorative bottles to saltglaze sewer pipes.

Soon the company assumed the Doulton name (1853) and John with his son, Henry, had established themselves as makers of fine English stoneware, and using the limited range of colours, produced a wide variety of decorative items for the more affluent members of society.

In 1871 Henry established a studio at the Lambeth pottery and offered work to designers and artists from a nearby Art school. Several of these designers have come to represent the best that Doulton had to offer. Names like the Barlow family (Florence, Hannah and Arthur), Frank Butler, Mark Marshall, Eliza Simmance and George Tinworth are commanding increasingly higher prices. The Lambeth pottery ceased production in 1956.

It was during this time of intense creativity and expansion that Doulton came to the attention of the Royal Family. In 1882, Doulton acquired the small factory of Pinder, Bourne and Co. at Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire, in the heart of Bone China country. Henry soon discovered that as a Londoner he wasn't welcome 'up North' and is quoted with saying, "In their view, we Southerners know little about God and nothing at all about potting".

In spite of this, and through the artistic direction of John Slater, Doultonware grew ever more popular with its tremendous variety of figurines, vases, character jugs and decorative pieces, and in 1901, the factory was granted the Royal Warrant by King Edward VII. This resulted in the company adopting bold new markings and a new name, Royal Doulton.

Between the wars, Royal Doulton became synonymous with the finest English china throughout the world. Character Jugs, huge quantities of figurines, Bunnykins dishes and plates, Flambe Ware, Titanium Ware, Bone China have only added to the Doulton name and reputation.

Since the war, as is inevitable with modern business methods, production had to shift toward simpler designs which could be mass-produced and at a much more affordable price. Even so, Doulton haven't lost their flare for technical innovation that allows for the use of cost effective yet high quality production techniques for which they have always been famous.

Part of the Lambeth factory of Doulton survives in Lambeth on Black Prince Road, close to the Tate Gallery. Examples of Doulton ware can be seen in many important collections, for example the Victoria and Albert MuseumHenry Willett was one of the great collectors of pottery, and much of his collection, including Doulton ware, is on show in the Brighton Museum and Art Gallery.

Today, Doulton thrives with 6000 employees and 166 million turnover year

Bibliography & Further information

Royal Doulton, Julie McKeown, Shire Publications Ltd, 2004 -  on googlebooks

Henry Willet and Bright Museum and Gallery

Lambeth factory of Doulton

Daniel Doulton's website