Doughty, Dorothy – Royal Worcester Ceramic Artist

Dorothy Doughty Elf Owl, British, 20th century, figurine depicting an elf owl perched on a cactus, on wooden base, back reads Moonlit Elf Owl and Giant Saguaro/Royal Worcester

p4A ItemID F7964573
Pair Dorothy Doughty Vermilion Flycatchers, British, 20th century, pair of figurines depicting flycatchers with pussy willows, on wooden bases, bottom reads "Vermilion Flycatcher With Pussy Willow/Royal Worcester

p4A ItemID F7964572
Pair Dorothy Doughty Hooded Warblers, British, 20th century, pair of figurines depicting hooded warblers with Cherokee roses, on wooden bases, bottom reads "Hooded Warbler with Cherokee Rose/Royal Worcester

p4A ItemID F7964571
PAIR OF ROYAL WORCESTER BIRDS. England, mid 20th century. Hand painted bisque Dorothy Doughty "Indigo Buntings", male and female

p4A ItemID F7954639

Dorothy Doughty, Royal Worcester Ceramic Artist

In the early 1930′s, a Mr. Alex Dickins, a publisher of etchings and messotints, visitied with the Royal Worcester company. He had become interested in exporting to America the china figurines of English studio artists. He suggested to Royal Worcester that they might make a series of American bird models, which by using a non-reflecting surface, would be nearer to nature, and therefore an improvement on the creations of the past.

When pursuing the idea for the bird series, the Royal Worcester company became aware of Miss Dorothy Doughty. She was not only an amateur ornithologist, but she possessed the ability to remember in every minute detail a bird seen for a moment in flight or at rest, and reproduce it as she saw it in its natural surroundings. Like all truly great artists she was satisified with nothing but truth. What nature is, was portrayed in her work and nothing falling short of her conception of reality ever left her studio. When she began her bird series she was a ceramic amateur. A large part of her success was due to the devoted band of Worcester’s craftsmen and craftswomen who helped her over the years. She was quick to assimilate and adapt their knowledge to her work.

Color was the greatest struggle Miss Doughty and her team had to face in reproducing the minutest details of natural birds, as remembered by her photographic brain. The Royal Worcester company took great pains to ensure that no imperfect birds left the factory, and that Miss Doughty’s high standards were achieved.

Mr. R. Van Ruyckevelt joined Royal Worcester in 1953 after his graduation from the Royal College of Art. Mr. Van Ruyckevelt worked with Miss Doughty in her studio there until such time as he had absorbed her methods and objectives. He then became her representative at the factory, making sure that her wishes were accurately interpreted and carried out. The progress in the factory’s production of the bird models in recent years was largely due to his efforts.

The American Birds collection consisted of 44 different types of bird figurines (pairs and singles) in either white or handpainted finished. This series was produced from 1935 to 1968.

The British Birds collection consisted of 15 different types of bird figurines (pairs and singles) in either white or handpainted finish. This series was created from the 1950′s until Miss Doughty’s untimely death in 1962. The birds continued to be released following Dorohty Doughty’s death throughout the late 1960s.

(Used by permission of The Porcelain Pond,

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