Charles Dickens’ Dolly Varden ~ A Royal Doulton Treasure

Dolly Varden


Dolly Varden is a fictional character, a gaily dressed coquette, who features in Charles Dickens’ 1839 historical novel Barnaby Rudge, set in 1780. The Dolly Varden costume, consisting of a wide-skirted, tight-bodiced print dress, worn with a white fichu and a flowered hat with a wide drooping brim, was an 1870’s version of the fashions of the 1770’s and 1780’s.

You can read Graham Reynolds fascinating article “Charles Dickens and the World of Art” in the June 1970 copy of Apollo magazine, the cover of which features the portrait of Dolly by William Powell Frith, painted c. 1842-49 and presently on display at Tate Britain. 


Dolly VardenThis rare and delightful Early 20th Century Vintage Royal Doulton English Porcelain Figurine ~ “Dolly Varden” ~ HN 1515, decorated in a red and lavender colourway, was designed by leading Doulton artist, Leslie Harradine, and issued from 1932 to 1949. The inspiration for this figurine is taken from the c. 1842-49 painting by William Powell Frith of Dolly Varden, a character in Charles Dickens novel Barnaby Rudge ~ See Apollo ~ June 1970. The underside fully marked in green with the Royal Doulton printed backstamp of the period, Dolly Vardon., Rd. No. 773348, { for 1932 }, and in green script, HN 1515., Potted by Doulton & Co., Impressed Date Code ?-5-33, { for ? May 1933 }, plus in black the Painter’s Monogram H, for Emma C. Harrison, recorded as working at Doulton Circa 1933. Height ~ 21.60 cm. / 8.50 inches ~ Width ~ 10.80 cm. / 4.25 inches ~ Depth ~ 8.90 cm. / 3.50 inches ~ Year ~ Circa 1933.

Once again, for Collectors of Early Royal Doulton figurines, this piece really does tick all of the right boxes ~ Take a look now at :-





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