Pottery through the Ages

Tile Frieze
1939 (made)
Pottery through the Ages thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
Stair P
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Between 1939 and 1978, this impressive frieze, depicting 'Pottery Through the Ages', graced the frontage of Doulton House, which stood at the junction of Albert Embankment and Lambeth Bridge, London. This headquarters office for the well-known ceramics manufacturer was designed by the architect T.P. Bennett (1887-1980) in modernist style and faced with cream, black and gold ceramic panels. Royal Doulton commissioned Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953), President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, to design this frieze, considered his ceramic masterpiece, as well as another smaller one for the same building which illustrated the arrival of Dutch potters in London. Bayes was an esteemed, versatile and prolific sculptor of public works including figures and memorials, especially in the interwar years. He modelled the Portland stone figures of Sir William Chambers and Sir Charles Barry on the facade of the V&A and is now best-known for his 'Queen of Time' clock over the entrance of Selfridge's department store, Oxford Street, London.

The two friezes from Doulton House were salvaged by Ironbridge Gorge Museum, thanks to the initiative of Paul Atterbury, then head of Royal Doulton's historical department and now a well-known author and antiques specialist. The 'Dutch Potters' frieze remains at Ironbridge, while Royal Doulton presented the 'Pottery Through the Ages' frieze to the V&A.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Additional TitleThe Doulton House Frieze (alternative title)
Materials and Techniques
Stoneware with coloured high-temperature glazes
Brief Description
Stoneware frieze with coloured glazes, designed and modelled by Gilbert Bayes, made by Doulton & Co., Lambeth, 1939, for the front of Doulton House, Albert Embankment
Physical Description
Rectangular frieze of stoneware glazed in various colours, depicting an allegorical history of pottery, divided into eight cultural epochs: Egypt, Assyria, Persia, The Orient (at the centre), Renaissance Italy, Crete, Greece, Phoenicia and Rome.
Dimensions
  • Height: 1600mm
  • Width: 13630mm
Production typeUnique
Gallery Label
The Doulton Frieze Stoneware with polychrome glazing Made by Doulton & Co. for its London headquarters, Doulton House, Albert Embankment, Lambeth; designed and modelled by Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953); 1939 Given by Royal Doulton C.61-1988(1988)
Credit line
Given by Royal Doulton
Object history
See Ceramics and Glass Section: Object Information file for 'Gilbert Bayes and the Doulton House Frieze', a publicity handout published by Royal Doulton, 1988, and other papers.
Summary
Between 1939 and 1978, this impressive frieze, depicting 'Pottery Through the Ages', graced the frontage of Doulton House, which stood at the junction of Albert Embankment and Lambeth Bridge, London. This headquarters office for the well-known ceramics manufacturer was designed by the architect T.P. Bennett (1887-1980) in modernist style and faced with cream, black and gold ceramic panels. Royal Doulton commissioned Gilbert Bayes (1872-1953), President of the Royal Society of British Sculptors, to design this frieze, considered his ceramic masterpiece, as well as another smaller one for the same building which illustrated the arrival of Dutch potters in London. Bayes was an esteemed, versatile and prolific sculptor of public works including figures and memorials, especially in the interwar years. He modelled the Portland stone figures of Sir William Chambers and Sir Charles Barry on the facade of the V&A and is now best-known for his 'Queen of Time' clock over the entrance of Selfridge's department store, Oxford Street, London.



The two friezes from Doulton House were salvaged by Ironbridge Gorge Museum, thanks to the initiative of Paul Atterbury, then head of Royal Doulton's historical department and now a well-known author and antiques specialist. The 'Dutch Potters' frieze remains at Ironbridge, while Royal Doulton presented the 'Pottery Through the Ages' frieze to the V&A.
Bibliographic References
  • 'Pottery through the Ages', Royal Doulton International Collectors' Club, autumn 1987, pp.20-21
  • Louise Irvine & Paul Atterbury, 'Gilbert Bayes: Sculptor 1872-1953', Richard Dennis, 1998
Collection
Accession Number
C.61-1988

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record createdOctober 20, 1998
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