Collecting Doulton’s famous Gnomes ‘B’ seriesware.

9″ plate D4697.

Often referred to as the Doulton version of Wedgwood’s famous Fairyland Lustreware, the Gnomes pattern illustrated is derived from drawings by the great illustrator Arthur Rackham for Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, which also provided the inspiration for Doulton’s early figurine Pretty Lady who is based on an illustration for Wendy. The designer of this Doulton pattern is of course Charles Noke, then Art Director at Doulton’s Burslem factory.

Unusual rectangular plate.

Introduced c.1925 it is a perennially popular pattern that collectors clamour for when it does turn up at auction or through dealers. Although in production until c.1950 examples of it are hard to find and typically teawares are what do turn up in the form of plates and trios.

Early catalogue page featuring Gnomes ‘B’. 

There are five recorded scenes as listed by Louise Irvine in her book Series Ware Vol.3, although again it is scene 1 which is the most frequently found, again on plates.

Unusual sandwich tray. 

As with all seriesware patterns, a collection  masterly displayed makes quite a statement in the home! 

Rare oatmeal bowl with unusual, plain border. 

For reference, there are 3 recorded D numbers for this pattern – D4697, D4899 and D5066 and this ‘B’ pattern is not to be confused with the earlier ‘A’ pattern. Also, in the USA it is referred to as ‘Munchkins’. 

Collecting William Savage Cooper’s nursery rhyme designs for Royal Doulton. 

Introduced in 1903 there are around 20 different nursery rhyme designs based on illustrations by William Savage Cooper to collect and still other designs by others too. The earliest pieces of Savage Cooper’s are found on china with gold accenting, whilst later earthenware examples can be found on Doulton’s Art Deco earthenware shapes.


Typically gifts for children these pieces were no doubt broken and many today show signs of much use along the way, but their popularity ensured that they remained in production for a relatively long period to around 1939, meaning that there are examples in good condition to collect. Unusual boxed sets do turn up occasionally and I know of collectors who solely collect nursery wares and who have amassed great collections.

A catalogue page from the 1920’s. 

Collecting Doulton’s ‘Ladies of the Fan’.


 Eugene HN1521, Fleurette HN1587 and Lisette HN1524.

Whatever you particular interest in Doulton figures you soon realise that themes do occur within collections, such as those ladies with feet popping out under the hems of skirts or those carrying parasols.


Teresa HN1682.

Another theme are the bevy of beauties teasing their admirers with their colourful fans.


Miranda HN1818 and Mariquita HN1837.

With a history stretching back over 3000 years, it is the fans of the 18th and 19th centuries that typically appear on Doulton ladies. First seen here when merchants from Asia returned with them, those appearing on Doulton ladies are the folding type – again a relatively modern adaptation of the traditional fixed type. 


Eleanor HN1754.

Perhaps you collect figures according to a different theme? If so why not share them on our facebook page – Doulton Collectors Club! 

Collecting Doulton Art Union work.


Eliza Simmance vase for the Art Union.

The presence of ‘Art Union of London’ on Doulton ware, indicates that it was produced in a series and specially selected for members of the Art Union, whose subscription brought them access to important art wares from many sources including Doulton. 


Example of the Art Union stamp found on Burslem ware or else an identical mark found impressed on Lambeth items.  

Both Lambeth and Burslem produced wares for the Art Union, although examples of Burslem pieces are much harder to find. Doulton began supplying items in 1885 through to the early 1900’s (approx. 1902) and typically their most celebrated artists such as Mark Marshall and Eliza Simmance provided the original designs. Despite these items not being one off pieces, prices for these marked ‘Art Union of London’ are in line with one off pieces by these major artists. Rare items of Burslem ware that I have seen have all been in the style of their ‘Spanishware’. 

Collecting Doulton Marqueterie ware.


 Marqueterie sugar bowl. 

This distinctive Lambeth ware was produced between 1886-1906, although examples are unusual due to its fragile nature. Multi-coloured clay in blue, white and brown were compressed together resulting in a marble effect clay, which would then be moulded into often intricate shapes. This particular ware bears a Doulton & Rix mark to its base,William Rix was art director at Lambeth between 1870-1897. 


Marqueterie backstamp.