George Tinworth at Doulton

Words by:
William Gregory MRICS, Golding Young Thomas Mawer
Featured in:
August 2011

Pottery and china wares by the company Doulton are a regular feature of most auctions. The company has been producing a varied selection of stoneware and china for some one hundred and sixty years, much of which is still highly collected today. The company began with functional stonewares and then in the late 1860s, in a response to fashion and trade exhibitions, started to produce more decorative items such as vases, ewers, jardinières and figures.
This trend into the production of decorative items began with George Tinworth. Having trained at the Lambeth School of Art, Tinworth developed a style of design for glazed stoneware. Producing major pieces for exhibitions he took these designs into the production of smaller animal figures and everyday decorative wares. The use of glazed stoneware with blue and green glazes along with incised decoration of styllised leaves, floral bosses and sprays with borders of spiral beads are a common feature. Furthermore, indentification of Tinworth’s pieces is made easier as, along with clear Doulton impressed marks on the base, Tinworth signed with his initials on the body of his works – the only Doulton artist allowed to do so. This combination of design and indentification makes Tinworth appealling to collectors, especially in this era of Internet catalogues where word searches efficiently display those items entered into auctions. Although this also exposes the amount of items Tinworth produced at Doulton, decreasing their rarity value, prices at auction tend to start from a few hundred to several thousand pounds for the more important pieces.

Illustrated are four examples of George Tinworth’s work recently included in a Golding Young Thomas Mawer Auction.

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