Royal Doulton Antiques
A Subdivision of Royal Doulton Collectors Club Magazine
The History of Royal Doulton - Page 2
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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 table wares. It added porcelain production and earthenware production
to its offerings in 1884. Also in 1884, Doulton added decorated porcelain to the other
production lines. Doulton figures were made at the Burslem plants from 1890 until
1978. Stoneware production ceased at Lambeth in 1956.
Use of the name "Royal"
Courtesy of Peter Houlding
Edward VI became King in 1901, the same year that Doulton was granted the charter
under which they became "Royal". The use of the word "England" was necessitated by
the Export Act of 1891. Prior to that year, Doulton did not carry the word "England".
Did I forget to mention the Doulton - Lambeth hot water bottles. Just the thing for cold
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. More than 2000 different
figures have been produced by Royal Doulton over the years.
Doulton's Rouge Flambe (veined sung) is high glazed, strong colored wares noted for its fine
modeling and exquisite colors 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.
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). The series was drawn by Charles
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 honor 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.
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.
Click to advance to - Page 3 History of Royal Doulton
2012 Copyright. All rights reserved.
Royal Doulton Antiques LLC