D6003 Farmer Bunnykins
A very rare early Royal Doulton Farmer Bunnykins figure in excellent condition.
Edwardian & Later - 1901Maker:
Royal Doulton BunnykinsMaker Bio:
Introduced in 1934, Bunnykins tableware depicted Mr and Mrs Bunnykins and other rabbits dressed in human clothing, in colourful rural and small-town English scenes, transfer-printed on white china. The earliest pieces, signed "Barbara Vernon" (Sister Mary Barbara Bailey), are quite rare and highly prized. Bunnykins china was used by Princess Elizabeth and Princess Margaret and thus became a popular present given as christening and birthday gifts in middle-class English homes. In 1950 Sister Mary Barbara Bailey stopped producing drawings for Doulton & Co. A succession of artists took her place providing designs for tableware and figurines.
In the early 1950s designs by Sister Mary Barbara were discontinued. Royal Doulton art director Walter Hayward then began designing Bunnykins for production. Bunnykins drawings by Walter were published in the story book Picnic for Bunnykins published by Kestrel Books in 1984.
Figurines by Charles Noke featuring various Bunnykins characters began in 1939. The first line consisted of only six designs. All factories were closed for the duration of World War II, bringing production to a halt, and thus these six figurines have also become very rare. Following the war, production of Bunnykins figurines did not restart until Royal Doulton purchased the Beswick factory in 1969. After this, Bunnykins were numbered with the prefix DB. Figurines were designed by Royal Doulton art director Walter Hayward and design manager Harry Sales.
The Bunnykins figurine line is famous for the large number of professions, historical and literary figures, and traditional costumes interpreted as rabbits. Named figurines include Policeman Bunnykins, Nurse Bunnykins, Sir Lancelot Bunnykins, Betsy Ross Bunnykins, Lapplander Bunnykins, Fortune Teller Bunnykins, and so many more.