Triumph at the Gavel | The Demand for Doulton

Triumph at the Gavel | The Demand for Doulton

After the success of our recent Design sale, Specialist, Otto Billström, reflects on the sought-after collection of Doulton. 

Featuring 100 lots of prominent and rare examples from the hands of Doulton Lambeth’s most prominent artists, the first instalment of the Ann Turner collection was a phenomenal success, with enthusiasts from across the globe joining in the bidding.

18 May 2023

Leading with the works of sisters Hannah and Florence Barlow, the collection also featured scarce pieces by Mark V Marshall, George Tinworth, Frank Butler and more.

Being a professional musician Mrs. Turner had an affinity for the anthropomorphic works of George Tinworth, and in particular the musician mice and merry musicians, which opened her up to the extended roster of Doulton artists. She spent a lifetime travelling with her husband, a prominent Swiss banker, putting together a prolific collection, carefully sourced from other collections and auctions. Throughout the extensive acquisition, however, she never parted with a single piece, making it the first time in decades many of these pieces are made available to the open market.


A Doulton stoneware 'Mouse Musician' menu holder, 'Harp & Piano' (£5,200)

A Doulton stoneware 'Mouse Musician' menu holder, 'Harp & Piano' (£5,200)


On the day we saw intense bidding in the room, online, and over the phones, with collectors seeking to add to their own collection pieces which have never been publicly made available before.

The top lot was George Tinworth’s remarkable Nautilus clock which sold for £9100 inc. fees. The piece is a masterclass in collaboration, with Hannah Barlow, who made the sgrafitto decoration on the shell which formed the clock base. The shell in turn is flanked by putti riding sea horses, executed in Tinworth’s signature style. The piece was subject to intense international bidding before selling to a private collector of ceramics based in Cornwall. We have since been told that it is to receive a place of honour, with the perfect place already being eyed up for it ahead of the sale.


A rare Doulton Lambeth 'Nautical' clock (£9,100)

A rare Doulton Lambeth 'Nautical' clock (£9,100)


Whilst it is sad to see such a comprehensive collection dispersed, we are sure that they will bring joy and flair to whichever collection they may be integrated in.

A personal favourite piece for me was lot 98, the Harry Barnard dragon vase. Imposing by design, it presents an interesting coming together of styles with it being a marriage of the Chinese and English pottery traditions, taking on a conventional East Asian form and motif, yet presented in a style which is very much defined by the Doulton artists. Growing up in Sweden, my relationship with ceramics lies in a different tradition, and as such, having worked through such a monumental collection has been a privilege, as well as an education.



A Doulton Lambeth stoneware vase (£2,600)

A Doulton Lambeth stoneware vase (£2,600)


We are delighted to announce that further lots from the Ann Turner collection is to be offered in our July Design sale, delving deeper into the works of Mark V Marhsall and Mary Ann Thompson, as well as further works of Hannah and Florence Barlow, Frank Butler and more. 


For further information about the collection or our 18-19 July Design sale, please contact |  01279 817778 





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