Royal Doulton "Bunnykins"-Barbara Vernon Collection mug and plate; in excellent condition with no chips or cracks; trademark "Bunnykins" marked on bottom of both items. The plate measures 7 3/4" in diameter and has picture of mother bunny sitting on stool with basket of oranges w/sign "super taste" and younger bunnies with balloons and mouse delivering mail. The mug is 3" tall and has bunnies around the rim and father & mother bunny with baby sitting in chair and young bunny kicking ball on other side.In the spring of 2003, Sister Mary Barbara, a 92-year-old nun, died in Hayward's Heath, England, signalling the end of a chapter in the fascinating story of Royal Doulton Bunnykins that had started in the early 1930s when Cuthbert Bailey, the general manager of Royal Doulton Pottery, applied his daughter Barbara's rabbit drawings to a new line of nursery ware. Sister Mary Barbara was little more than a child herself when she began creating the world of the rabbit family that eventually became the Bunnykins family. She had already become a nun when her father asked her to create a bunny world for Doulton. The Prioress at the convent was uneasy at this commercial venture and sadly did not allow the convent to profit from the enterprise. Sister Mary Barbara did most of the work late at night by candlelight, and signed her work 'Barbara Vernon.' By the early 1950s, she had contributed more than 1,000 drawings to the factory. The Barbara Vernon signature was still added to the ware until the mid-1950s and signed pieces always command a premium.
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