The early years of the 20th century were a time of great experimentation at Doulton’s Burslem studio and these early animal figures in block colours belong to that period.
Only the earliest animals seem to appear in these flat one-colour versions and judging from the backstamps I have seen they ceased being produced like this by 1930.
Whilst they may not appeal to all collectors the one tone colouring gives them a sculpted feel, no doubt the original intention behind the idea. These unusual animals can be found in either matt or typical glossy glaze and bear no other information but the model number impressed into the base.
As I repeatedly say with Doulton – expect the unexpected! The rhinoceros illustrated above was a find just the other day and is such an early and rare model to find!