Collecting Doulton Queensware

Queensware tea caddy

Queensware has been described as the perfect partner to Doulton’s famous Kingsware. The method if decorating is exactly the same as that for Kingsware, but the body is an ivory colour.

Micawber jug minus stopper.

During it’s production it proved less popular than Kingsware, and as with all rarities is much sought after by collectors, especially those in Australia.
The exact introduction date of Queensware is not known although the first reference to it by Doulton was in 1932, however there is a Hogarth jug D5173 from 1931.

Queensware Parson Brown.

Just as Kingsware, Queensware can be found in whiskey flasks, tablewares and other novelties.

Doulton’s Mandarin ware


Doulton’s popular Mandarin ware falls into two broad categories. The first like the pictures above and below has an almost seriesware feel but features much painting around a transfer pattern. 

Typically prunus and flamingos feature on this first type of mandarin ware.

The second is much more delicate and feature lustred poppies generally against a blue background. As with many Doulton wares the shapes of vases used really distinguish this second type of Mandarin ware.


I once came across a Sung version of this type of Mandarin vase and it was exquisite as you can see. Both types of Mandarin ware are much sought after today and pieces are quickly snapped up by collectors.


A rare Sung version of the Mandarin poppy design. 

Both types of Mandarin ware are difficult to find today and production certainly ceased by the 1930’s.

A recent find in the poppy design from the 1920’s.

Collecting Doulton Holbein ware

Around the turn of the 20th Century there were many exciting introductions at Doulton’s Burslem studios, many the brainchildren of the famous Charles Noke.


Holbein ware is a typical example of Noke’s experimentation with glazes. Holbein wares give the impression of old masters through the use of yellow, green and brown slip on a cream earthenware body. Portraits on these vases were typically by Harry Tittensor and Walter Nunn among others.

Incidentally this name of ware was also given to a series of items including candlesticks and oil lamp bases modelled in an art nouveau style but not bearing any portrait!


Further Holbein pieces not featuring portraits but rather nocturnal animals including owls also appear.


This ware had a special backstamp but it was not always used, creating certain confusion about this particular ware. This ware should not be confused with Rembrandt ware.

L-R Holbein vase, Rembrandt vase and Holbein


Collecting Doulton Spanish wares

This technique introduced around 1890 offers something for every collector, with simple to elaborate designs and with prices to match!


The Spanish ware technique consisted mainly of flowers outlined in raised gilt. Examples of handpainting and transfer printing can be found on this ware, although the general rule of thumb for collectors is the more elaborate the more likely it is that it is an artist piece.


The body used on this ware was often Vellum, just like the small range of figures developed in the late 19th Century. The gilding on this particular ware is exceptional and the styles of vases etc…were equally elaborate and often featured dragons.


This method of decoration was often used on high end tablewares, and cabinet sets like the one below were particularly popular with this decoration.


Prices for Spanish ware correspond to how elaborate the piece is and there are many avid collectors of this ware around the world.


Spanish ware production ceased sometime around the outbreak of WWI in 1914.

Collecting Doulton postcards


I always say Doulton, unlike any other pottery has something for every collector and here is another theme to collect – postcards.

Doulton produced or rather had printed postcards to advertise a number of their wares such as serieswares, Lambeth wares and also figures.


Some postcards, like the two illustrated for seriesware are works of art in their own right and can stand along side pieces of actual seriesware in a display.


I have not found many advertising figures but this one for the Beggar’s Opera series is a favourite.


Postcards were produced not only to sell items but to re-enforce Doulton as a world player in the pottery market. Here is a great postcard advertising their Lambeth showrooms.


In recent times postcards were produced for the old visitor centre at Nile St. Burslem featuring their artists at work as well as displays and prized museum pieces.

Postcards featuring Doulton were also popular and I have a series of birthday cards featuring Doulton items. Here is a postcard from Glasgow featuring their famous Doulton fountain.


Whatever your interest in Doulton you are bound to find some derivative such as postcards to enhance your collection!

Doulton artist profile – Henri Boullemier


Henri as his name suggests was of French descent and he and his brother followed in their famous fathers’ footsteps with their chosen profession as high end porcelain painters.
All three worked at Minton at one point in the late 1800’s and the two sons’s style was very much influenced by their father who at Minton worked with other of his countrymen including the famous Solon. The father had previously worked for Sèvres.
Henri worked for a very short period probably on a freelance basis for Doulton in the first years of the twentieth century and thus examples of his exceptional work are very rare. Typically his work featured on service and dessert plates and featured cherubs, children and classical portrait heads like the example pictured.
Any work by Henri Boullemier is exceptionally rare and pieces seldom appear on the secondary market.

Peggy’s ‘Prima’ Ballerinas!

When Peggy Davies began to supply regular models to Doulton for reproduction she was determined to set her style apart from anything else hitherto produced. Whilst Doulton wanted to continue their house style after Harradine, Peggy had other ideas.

Among her first productions were a handful of ballerina figures, something that had not been created since the early and rare Pavlova HN487.

The delicacy and detail of these ballerinas are synonymous with Peggy’s style and so very distinguishable from other figure modellers.

The first in the series are Coppelia HN2115 and Ballerina HN2116, the origins of the latter are discussed in my book Reflections but Coppelia is based on the mechanical doll in Delibes’ comic ballet from which the figure takes her name.

However, the most accurate ballet figures are the trio that followed these two models. The first, la Sylphide, is based on the ballet of the same name. La Sylphide should not be confused by the later ballet Les Sylphides which took inspiration from the original and also features a sylph – a mythological spirit if the air. I have recently discovered the prototype version of this figure with a crown of flowers sitting proudly above her head rather than the band of flowers on the model that went into production.

L-R the production version of la Sylphide and the prototype..

Full views of the two figures that illustrate their common features. Yet, the detail is of course much more defined on the prototype. The prototype version simply carries the Doulton marks as one would expect.

The second two are based on the ballet Giselle by Gautier first performed in 1841. Here are all three studies!

L-R Giselle HN2139, La Sylphide HN2138 and Giselle, the Forest Glade HN2140.

This group of figures make an excellent display and loan themselves to any room in the house!