Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Laura Green and Doulton

I have been looking into an ancestor of mine again today. Don't know why - actually I do; a guy on an LJ blog was talking about genealogy and how he had discovered something belonging to a great-great someone that he was able to buy. I decided to do a quick search on some of my ancestors, just in case. The one most likely to have something on ebay was my great grandmother who was an artist at Royal Doulton in the 1870s-1880s before she married and came to Australia. Her name was Laura Green.

Nothing on ebay so far but, when I googled her, there is a web site in Germany that has a piece of pottery with her signature on it (can't afford that) and I found another antique site that lists the marks used by the various artists at the different pottery works. So today I discovered the marked used by Laura Green on any pottery she was involved in.

I didn't discover she was an artist at Doulton until last year when I found an entry for her in the 1881 Census of England that gave her occupation as artist. We knew there was some connection to Doulton though. I have a photo of a woman signed with a mark of and H surrounded by two B's, the one on the left is backwards. I have always wondered about this photograph, as I was told many years ago by my Aunt that she had been an artist at Doulton and was a close friend of Laura's.

One night I was watching the Antiques Roadshow and they were showing a Doulton vase and were discussing the artist, Hannah Barlow, and showed her mark. It was the one on the photo. I raced into my study and found the photo to check the mark, and it was identical. I finally had the name of the friend of my great-grandmother who was a Doulton artist. Apparently Laura was her assistant for a while at the Lambeth Doulton works. I have yet to get hold of a definitive Doulton history so I can find out more about the type of work she did there.

It is funny that for all those years I knew there was some connection to Royal Doulton but only discovered it by a fluke of watching a show on TV.

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