The many faces of Doulton ladies!

I’ve recently been asked to describe how to use the face of a Royal Doulton lady to identify her age.
The earliest pretty lady size figures had very simple faces, often with just black dots for eyes. I have in my own collection this version of a Polly Peachum with simple blue dots – I’ve never seen another like this.

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In the early 1930’s faces were typically like this one belonging to Sweet Maid.

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And here is a similar face belonging to Barbara.

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Around 1932 there was a further change among Doulton’s artists and faces like this one on Pantalettes became the norm.

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Then ca.1935 these faces with coloured eyes appeared popular and are readily found on figures from this time.


Thereafter until production ground to a halt sometime in 1944 the faces of Doulton’s ladies remained quite similar to the two here from Verena and Meriel.

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Post WWII there was often a return to blue eyes on some figures but the ladies generally appeared less ‘max-factored’ as I call it. Here is one such example.

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By the early 1950’s there was a further change to a more simple face like these belonging to Carolyn and Judith.

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As Doulton figures at this time were all purely handpainted much variation exists and whilst I personally prefer the faces from the late 1930’s it is possible to find ‘max-factored’ faces on later figures such as Giselle and Jacqueline down here.

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It would be impossible for me to describe every single face ever painted but I hope this general description helps collectors identify or distinguish figures from various decades.

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