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Royal Doulton

October 03, 2014 << Back

Royal Doulton has been producing ceramics for over 200 years

Royal Doulton has been producing porcelain ceramics and tableware for approximately 200 years.
John Doulton learned the trade of pottery making at the tender age of twenty-two while working at the Fulham Manufacturing Co, well known as the first English commercial pottery, producing stoneware.
Fulham was founded in 1688 and later assumed the name of Jones, Watts and Doulton. Sometime after, the firms name changed to Doulton and made a variety of decorative products for the affluent buyer.

From a meagre beginning John Doulton amassed one of the largest pottery and porcelain factories the world has ever known. In 1815, John Doulton, at the tender age of 22, invested his lifetime savings of £100 in a small pottery.
His previous experience in other potteries gave him the knowledge necessary to attempt such an adventure.

John Doulton, began producing practical and decorative stoneware from a small pottery in Lambeth, South of London. With much effort in manufacturing utility items such as sewer pipe and the like, he went into partnership with John Watts. The firm took on the name of Doulton & Watts and become a well-known firm in the area. As time passed, Doulton's son Henry joined the firm as an apprentice.

Henry built up the business and relocated it 60 years later to Stoke-on-Trent.

Sir Henry Doulton, the second generation Henry Doulton, the second son of John Doulton, joined the firm in 1835 and brought with him new technological innovations to the production of ceramics including a steam driven potters' wheel, which put the business ahead of its competition. Production then expanded to include hand-decorated stoneware.

In 1878, Sir Henry Doulton purchased Pinder, Bourne and Company of Burslem. Queen Victoria knighted Henry Doulton in 1887 for his innovations in the ceramic art. In 1882, the company became Doulton and Company, Ltd.In 1882, a second factory was built in Burslem, which still continues to produce the famous figurines, jugs, and tablewares. It added porcelain production and earthenware production to its other production lines. Doulton figures were made at the Burslem plants from 1890 until 1978. Stoneware production ceased at Lambeth in 1956.
Doulton's high quality:

The three main ingredients for Royal Doulton wares include cornish stone, china clay, and calcined bone ash. This results in translucent, but strong body. Royal Doulton has produced more than 2000 different figures over the years.
Doulton's Rouge Flambe (veined sung) is high glazed, strong colored wares noted for its fine modeling and exquisite colours used in the animal items in the line. Nearly all Royal Doulton figures are made at the Burslem factory today. The production of porcelain also continues today at Burslem.

Series Wares:
Some of the more prominent and popular figures are serial wares. For instance, the Gibson Girl series by Royal Doulton was introduced in 1901 (plates). Charles Dana drew the Gibson series.

Dickensware pieces by Royal Doulton were produced, based on the writings of Charles Dickens, from 1911 to the early 1940s.The Robin Hood series by Royal Doulton was introduced in 1914 based on the famous tale of the hero and his merry men.Works based on Shakespeare's characters resulted in two series of production items by Royal Doulton.


Royal Doulton Backstamps - marks
In 1872, the "Royal Doulton" mark was used on all wares from the company. The Royal Doulton mark has been used since 1902 and is still in production today. In 1912-13, Charles Noke launched a new group of Royal Doulton figures. The first figure was named "Darling", HN1, in honour of Queen Mary who visited the factory and proclaimed "isn't he darling".
Beginning in 1913, a HN number was used on all wares. This HN number refers to artist/designer Harry Nixon of Royal Doulton. Harry Nixon was an artist in charge of painting the figures. Other artists included John Sparkes, George Tinsworth, Arthur Barlow, and Agnete Hoy among others. The HN numbers were chronological until 1940, after which time blocks of numbers were assigned to each modeler of figures.From 1928 to 1954, a small number was placed to the right of the crown's mark on
all items made between those years. This number (the one at the right of the crown's mark) when added to the year 1927 will give you the year of manufacture of a particular piece.

Valuation:
The pieces with a limited production run, those signed by an artist, or those pieces marked "Potted"
(Indicating a pre-1939 origin) are highly collectible and perceived to be more valuable than other pieces of Royal Doulton.
Wares made after 1920 were marked with a lion (with or without a crown accompanying the lion) over a circular Royal Doulton mark.



England: The epidemics of 1832 and 1864 saw the death of thousands of people. Dr. John Snow discovered the relationship of Cholera and the Broad Street pump. Doulton contributed greatly with sewer pipe production to improve the quality of the water supply.



From 1858 until his death, John Doulton directed Doulton and Co. Pottery in Lambeth, England. John Doulton began experimenting with a more decorative pottery line. Many glazes and decorative effects were developed including Faience, Impasto, Silicon, Carrara, Marqueterie, Chine, and Rouge Flambe.
The factory operated in Lambeth until 1956. In the late 19th century at the original Lambeth location, Artists including Hannah Barlow and George Tinsworth decorated fine artwares.