Doulton Artist Profile – Herbert Bettley


Handpainted vase signed H. Bettley and dated 1913.

The ’HB’ initials gracing early Burslem wares of the 20th Century often bemuse collectors today, but they are in fact the initials of this artist Herbert (Harry) Bettley. Adding to confusion is the actual spelling of his name as it is generally recorded as ‘Betteley’. Actual examples of his work are unusual.

Base of vase a handpainted by H. Bettley.

Harry was a former student of the Burslem School of Art before joiningDoulton at the age of 26 in 1886. He was given the responsibility of a ‘studio’ of artists within the Burslem factory, just like Robert Allen and the two studios ran in ‘competition’ to one another. Just like the RA numbers that are well documented there were HB numbers, but alas the records detailing the precise dates for the sequencing of these numbers have been lost over the years. Harry retired from Doulton in 1930.

Base of an early Spanish ware vase with HB number.

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