A very rare and stylish Doulton Lambeth Marqueterie Ware blue and brown marbled art pottery twin handled vase with gilded designs by Lambeth’s first Art Director Wilton Parker Rix (Doulton Lambeth 1868-1897) and dating from around 1895.
Rix became a trainee manager at Doulton Lambeth in 1868 rising to the position of taking charge of the embryonic art department two years later. He was responsible for setting up exhibitions and launching the new decorative ware. As the first art director he trained new artists and claimed to have worked with more than 1,000 recruits during his career at Doulton. Rix played an important part in the development of colored glazes and pigments suitable for salt-glazed firing. He also produced new earthenware used for Faience decoration, Silicon Ware and Marqueterie Ware, which he patented jointly with Henry Doulton in 1887. Rix was heavily involved in the community at Doulton and played a very important role in the development and success achieved. He left Doulton in 1897 to work for Thomasson’s, the color manufacturer in Stoke-on-Trent and then moved to Liverpool where he died in 1909.
Marqueterie Ware was one of the styles of pottery developed and introduced by Rix and due to the very fine nature of the pottery, and probably limited production, not a great deal has survived. This rare vase of flattened oval shape stands raised on a skirted narrow oval shaped foot with a flat flask shaped body with molded shell patterned sides and with central panels decorated in low relief with gilded floral designs within scrolling leafy branch surrounds. The vase narrows at the top with ornate scroll handles applied to the shoulder with the a wider opening mimicking the shape of the foot. The vase is made in a thin marbled slip clay combining blue, brown and white with elements of red and with gilding to the patterning, handles and around the upper and lower elements of the vase. The vase has a printed black Doulton & Rix’s Patent mark dated 12-7-1887 to the base along with a recorded unidentified artist mark and assistant marks for Christina Wood. The vase also has an original Richard Dennis Pottery Exhibition 1975 Part II label to the base showing the vase to be lot 216. The exhibition held by Dennis, who is considered the leading authority worldwide on Doulton, comprised of the rarest and most sought after examples and we believe this was acquired from the exhibition where Dennis sold many of the exhibited pieces.