George Tinworth is acknowledged as being the first and greatest Doulton artist, a mantle he carried for over 40 years. In George Tinworth a promising talent was seen; something that was of course bourne out quickly. For example, in 1870 Doulton exhibited their first art wares at the International Exhibition at South Kensington. In total 70 pieces were shown, the majority of them by the talented George Tinworth.
The new art wares were greeted with enthusiasm, with Queen Victoria ordering examples to be shown to her at Windsor Castle. Such was the success that Henry Doulton asked of Sparks “Can’t we make Lambeth the centre of a real art product? Have you the students? Can you send me a whole batch of them?”
By 1877 critics and contemporaries were eulogising about Tinworth’s talent with even the potter John Ruskin saying that his ability was “full of fire and zealous faculty.” Today collectors are particularly drawn to his large terracotta plaques and his whimsical studies of musicians, frogs and mice. It was the latter which Leslie Harradine so preferred to Tinworth’s other works, with him expressing the desire that he should concentrate on these fancies rather than the ‘dreary’ biblical plaques.