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Thanks very much for the excellent service in the purchase of the Carnival teapot. I was extremely i...
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- Geoffrey, Melbourne

Royal Doulton

The first two phases in the evolution of the Doulton story were the establishment of the firm in Lambeth in London by John Doulton and later in Burslem in Staffordshire by Henry Doulton. The story is completed after 1901 with the granting of the title Royal which allowed the firm to be called Royal Doulton. Henry Louis Doulton was now the Managing Director. 

Royal Doulton at Lambeth

The building industry was very depressed at the start of the 20th century and the First World War almost paralysed production. The Lambeth branch of Royal Doulton survived by manufacturing utilitarian products such as porcelain electrical insulators and chemical laboratory containers. Post-war rationalisation saw dispersal of manufacture of these goods to various other sites in England. Doulton house was erected on the Albert embankment near Lambeth Bridge in 1939. The Second World War saw a further need for manufacture of utilitarian wares for the services. However, rationalisation was completed after the war and the Lambeth branch closed in 1956.

Royal Doulton at Burslem

John Slater was retained as Decorating Manager when the firm became Doulton and Company in 1882 and John Cuthbert Bailey was appointed General Manager at the age of 23. Charles J Noke moved from Worcester to become Chief Modeller in 1889. Slater retired in 1914 and Charles Noke was appointed as Art Director until he retired in 1936. For the last 16 years of his tenure, Charles Noke worked in association with his son Cecil J Noke (Jack) who succeeded his father as Art Director in 1936 and Jack held the position until his sudden death in 1954. John Bailey’s son Cuthbert Bailey joined the firm in 1900 but left in 1907 and worked with other companies until he was invited back to succeed his father as General Manager in 1925. These pioneers experimented with totally new glazing techniques to make Flambe wares which were a triumph at the St. Louis exhibition of 1904, many other new glazing and design techniques such as Holbien, Rembrandt and Morrisian wares and the highly popular Kingsware, and Sung and Chang wares which were first exhibited at the British Industrial Fair at Crystal Palace in 1920.

Dittersham on Dart - Royal Doulton hand-painted plate

Chelsea Bird - a Royal Doulton antique

               Chelsea Bird                                                Dittersham on Dart

Hand-painted Royal Doulton plates

Henry Louis Doulton retired as Managing Director in 1919 and was succeeded by Sir Henry Doulton's grandson Lewis Eric Hooper who remained as chairman of the board from 1925 until 1955. Royal Doulton pioneered introduction of new techniques for ceramics, glazes, shapes and kiln construction. A huge range of Series Ware based on the works of various artists and authors had been developing since the late 19th century and particularly became popular in the boom after the First World War. Ceramic figures had been introduced at Doulton Lambeth by George Tinworth, and their production was further developed at Burslem by Charles Noke. Serious production began in 1913 particularly under the direction of Harry Nixon with the first in the series renamed Darling by Queen Mary after it was presented to her at the factory in 1913; it was given the backstamp HN-1. All succeeding figures had the HN backstamp until about 1940. The artist Leslie Haridine commenced an independent association modelling figures for Royal Doulton after the First World War and this continued for some 40 years. Peggy Davies continued the tradition after the Second World War. Character jugs became highly popular after their introduction by Charles Noke in the early 1930s. After the First World War, Tableware became the mainstay of the business and this continues to the present day.

Henry Louis Doulton

Henry Louis Doulton

                                                                                   

                                                                                 Lewis Eric Hooper

After the Second World War, the company divided its activities into four major subsidiaries; Doulton Fine China Ltd, Doulton Industrial Porcelain Ltd, Doulton Sanitary Pottery Ltd and Doulton Petrified Pipes Ltd. Subsidiary companies were established in Australia, South Africa, Canada and the United States. In 1960, the firm introduced translucent china, a less expensive intermediate between fine bone china and earthenware. Royal Doulton Tableware (Holdings) Ltd was established and acquired the firms of Royal Crown Derby, Minton, Royal Albert, Royal Adderley, Queen Anne, Paragon, Booths, Ridgway, Beswick and Webb Corbett. Royal Doulton continues to be the major ceramics company to the present day.

Royal Doulton Series Ware - Blue Skies Coaching Days

Royal Doulton Series Ware - Baby Bunting

               Baby Bunting                                            Blue skies Coaching Days

Royal Doulton Series Ware

Pattern and Code Numbers

The following numbers indicate the approximate periods during which patterns were first introduced. Some patterns remained in production and kept the same number for many years. However, backstamps regularly changed and these can help to establish the period of production. Many pieces also carry an impressed or printed indication of when they were made. The impressed date may give the year only eg 1905; the month and year eg 10-08 for October 1908, or the full date eg 2-5-09 for 2nd May 1909.
Printed dates are also indicated on bone china pieces after 1927 by a code number beside the backstamp starting with 1 for 1928 and up to 30 for 1957.
   
D-Numbers (Earthenware)
1-339            1899             4823 -4969     1929
340-769        1900             4970 -5069     1930
770-1137      1901             5070-5169      1931
1138 -1495   1902             5170-5230      1932
1496 -1869   1903             5231 -5429     1933
1870 -2161   1904             5430 -5520     1934
2162-2442    1905             5521-5612      1935
2443-2723    1906             5613-5749      1936
2724-2914    1907             5750-5875      1937
2915-3079    1908             5876-6009      1938
3080-3229    1909             6010-6110      1939
3230-3374    1910             6111-6285      1940 -1948
3375-3519    1911             6286-6390      1949 -1952
3520-3635    1912             6391-6408      1953
3636 -3714   1913             6409-6438       1954
3715 -3821   1914             6439-6454       1955
3822 -3939   1915             6455-6464       1956
3940 -4074   1916-1918    6465 -6492      1957
4075 -4143   1919-1920    6493-6507       1958
4144 -4230   1921-1922    6508-6547       1959
4231 -4360   1923             6548-6558        1960
4361 -4470   1924             6559-6567        1961
4471 -4559   1925             6568-6587        1962
4560 -4659   1926             6588-6596        1963
4660 -4737   1927             6597-6006        1964
4738 -4822   1928   

E-Numbers (Bone China)
1- 940            1901-02       6016-7683        1911
941-1950       1903            7684-8277        1912
1951-3040     1904            8278-8933        1913
3041-4054     1905-06       8934-9527        1914
4055-6015     1907-10       9528-10000      1915

H-Numbers (Bone China)
1-359              1916            4241-4329        1934
360-709          1917           4330-4425         1935
710-759          1918           4426-4519         1936
760-906          1919           4520-4609         1937
907-1049        1920           4610 -4710        1938
1050-1179      1921           4711-4821         1939-1942
1180-1443      1922           4822-4849         1943-1946
1444-1812      1923           4850-4906         1947-1952
1813-2268      1924           4907-4930         1953
2269-2649      1925           4931
-4935         1954
2650-3180      1926           4936-4941         1955
3181-3599      1927           4942
-4950         1956-1957
3600-3770      1928           4951-4956         1958
3771-3909      1929           4957-4959         1959
3910-4010      1930           4960-4961         1960
4011-4099      1931           4962-4964         1961
4100-4189      1932           4965-4968         1962
4190-4240      1933           4969-4975         1963

V-Numbers (Bone China)
V-numbers were used after 1927 for patterns on an ivory tinted china body.
1 - 376           1927-1928   1801-1909          1937
377-820          1929            1910-2069         1938
821-1000        1930           2070-2170          1939
1001-1190      1931           2171-2250          1940
1191-1320      1932           2251 -2295         1941-1942
1321-1940      1933           2296 -2365         1943-1948
1491-1619      1934           2366 -2384         1949-1950
1620-1710      1935           2385 -2400         1951-1954
1711-1800      1936   

RA-Numbers
Hand-painted wares designed and decorated by Robert Allen and artists in his studios, were often given hand written RA-numbers RA-numbering was continued for several years after Allen retired.

Book Nos. Pattern Nos.        Book Purchase Date
1-6           RA 1- 763           Books purchased before Nov. 1892 are missing.
7              RA 764-1323       Nov. 1892
8-9           RA 1324–2234     Missing
10            RA 2235–2763     Nov. 1897
11            RA 2764-3254     Jan. 1899
12            RA 3255-3705     Dec. 1900
13            RA 3706-5000     Apr. 1902
14            RA 5001-5404     Apr. 1903
15            RA 5405-5805     May 1904
16            RA 5806-6202     Oct. 1905
17            RA 6203-6602     Feb. 1907
18            RA 6603-7002     May 1908
19            RA 7003-7402     Dec. 1909
20            RA 7403-7806     Apr. 1911
21            RA 7807-8204 "   Nov. 1912
22            RA 8205-8606     Probably early 1914.
23            RA 8607–9004     First World War period.
24            RA 9005-9402     Apr. 1919
25            RA 9403-9802     Aug. 1921
26            RA 9803-9999 
               RA 1-199             Nov. 1923
27            RA 200-509         Dec.1925-Nov. 1928
28            RA 510-709         Nov.1928-Dec. 1930
29            RA 710-906         Dec.1930-June 1932
30            RA 907-1112       June1932-Nov. 1933
31            RA 1113-1333     Nov.1933-June 1934
32            RA 1334-1538     June1934-Mar. 1937
33            RA 1539-1741     Mar.1937- ? 1943
34            RA 1742-1774     During the Second World War.
The RA-numbers were discontinued about 1943 or 1944.

Charles Noke launched Royal Doulton figures

In 1912-13 and these were given an HN number for Harry Nixon who was the artist responsible for their design and painting. The first figure was HN1 "Darling" made for Queen Mary. 

Backstamps

Royal Doulton backstamps

More Royal Doulton marks

Various special marks will be found on figures, character jugs and series ware indicating the design such as Titanium, Morrisian, Brangwyn, Flambe, Sung or Chang, or the series patterns such as Under the Greenwood Tree, The Gallant Fishers and Bunnykins. Three examples are shown:


 Royal Doulton special marks