Category Archives: Animals

A flock of Royal Doulton….parrots, budgerigars and cockatoos!

An unusual Parrot on pillar in Doulton flambé.

Parrots, also known as psittacines, are birds of approximately 393 species in 92 genera that make up the order Psittaciformes, that can be found in most tropical and subtropical regions. The order is further sub-dividable into three superfamilies: the Psittacoidea, the Cacatuoidea, and the Strigopoidea.

A selection of rare Royal Doulton birds including a character parrot (far left) holding a perpetual calendar in its mouth!

Budgies (budgerigars), also known as parakeets, are native to Australia and among the smallest parrots in the world.
A most unusual Florence Barlow pâte-sur-pâte vase originating from the Harriman Judd Collection.

As one of the most popular breeds of birds to keep as a pet, budgerigars, or budgies, are known for their outgoing and curious personalities.

A trio of early Burgeriegar on stumps in different glazes/effects.

The budgerigar is a long-tailed, seed-eating parrot usually nicknamed the budgie, or in American English, the parakeet.
A part teaser featuring parrots from the 1920s (pattern H2637).
In their natural Australian habitat, Budgerigars are noticeably smaller than those in captivity. This particular parrot species has been bred in many other colours and shades in captivity (e.g. blue, grey, grey-green, pieds, violet, white, yellow-blue). 
A pair of Budgeriegar and two versions of Cockatoo on stump.
A cockatoo is any of the 21 parrot species belonging to the family Cacatuidae, the only family in the superfamily Cacatuoidea.

To finish, an early catalogue page featuring an array of colourful creatures including those above!

Royal Doulton’s rare seriesware design ‘Cock-a-doodle-do’.

Royal Doulton certainly knew how to capture the market and this seriesware design is another illustration of their timely delivery to a clamouring public.

Today we associate this series with nurseryware but of course it does carry Royal Doulton’s famous D numbers from their ‘gift’ ware range (either D4686 or D4830).

In total there are seven scenes which revolve around the farmyard life of hens, ducks and of course roosters; all of whom can be found brought to comic life in this series and many are illustrated here. 

This design was introduced in 1928 and withdrawn by 1939, making it a hard series to find today. 
Interestingly, it also carries an individual backstamp so popular with Royal Doulton on their many seriesware designs.

My thanks to John Hatfield for use of the images here. CE

Introducing Royal Doulton’s newest Bunnykins Figure ‘The Fair Jester’ a DCC exclusive! 

Here at last is the newest member of Royal Doulton’s legendary Bunnykins family The Fair Jester.

The Fair Jester a DCC exclusive for 2017.

Royal Doulton’s Bunnykins characters have been entertaining us since 1934 and this summer The Fair Jester will be the Doulton Collectors Club fair exclusive at the summer Doulton show (11th June 2017) being held at the World Of Wedgwood, Royal Doulton’s home.

Here The Fair Jester sits perfectly with other members of the Bunnykins family.

Issued in a limited edition of 300, The Fair Jester comes with a certificate of authenticity carrying each individual Bunnykins’ serial number and he is presented in a typical Bunnykins box.

The Fair Jester (Ltd Ed 300).

To reserve this new Bunnykins figure, just email

Looking forward to seeing you at the June event!

Royal Doulton’s ducks, drakes and mallards….

Two drakes and a duck in the medium size c.6″.

Birds featured heavily in the earliest items produced as part of Royal Doulton’s famous HN Collection, which for a generation means simply their legendary figure collection.

A selection of small size drakes and ducks.

The earliest models produced for the range in 1913 were actuallyanimals and there are collectors out there who have managed to source some wondrous and rare examples of these animals.

A further early illustration of medium size mallards, including a spill vase version HN2544.

Doulton themselves were somewhat easygoing when it came to actually naming their animals correctly and occasional slips by them are easily excusable when you see the quality of detail and modelling that was achieved so early on in the 20th century.

A rare and early duck.

When talking about ducks, there are typically large, medium and small examples tombe found of most, although rare character figures of ducks exist such as the example illustrated. Moreover, the large size was added to the Presige range.

A large size ‘Drake’ and Penguin from 1938.

Typically later HN numbers simply refer to modified decoration and some later post WWII examples are very similar to much earlier productions. 

A 1920 publicity photograph featuring some of Doulton’s bird models. 

The magical world of Beatrix Potter; celebrating 150 years since the novelist’s birth.

2016 marks 150 years since the birth of the legendary Beatrix Potter, arguably one of the most beloved children’s authors in the world. Her enchanting stories of Peter Rabbit and friends have captured children’s imaginations since Peter first appeared in 1902.

The notion of creating China figures of her characters first came from Ewart Beswick and his wife while holidaying in the Lake District – a location close to the author’s heart. The first model produced was based on Jemima Puddleduck and was swiftly followed by other models created by the Beswick artist Arthur Gredington. 

Jemima was joined by Peter Rabbit, Tom Kitten and Mrs Tittlemouse among many others! 

The production of Beatrix Potter figures and other inspired wares was not only completed by Beswick but by Royal Albert and others.

As with all collectibles, one piece is swiftly joined by another and so the popularity of Beatrix’s charming characters continues to spread throughout the world. 

My thanks to Seaway China for use of their images.

For a comprehensive selection of Beatrix Potter figures, visit

The best Doulton present of all….

Starting to think ahead, here’s the perfect gift for Doulton lovers – a subscription to our magazine! If you haven’t yet subscribed to the Doulton Collectors Club magazine, here’s a glimpse inside Issue 3. 

Issue 4 is about to go out around the world, so watch this space for a glimpse of the cover and to see what is in the next issue! 

To subscribe simply visit:

and register there by clicking on the Club tab. Alternatively you may subscribe via Seaway China!

Doulton’s nesting owls and owlets! 

Animals have always been a popular giftware line for Doulton’s with many animal models even pre-dating the first introductions to their famous HN figure range in 1913.

A Titanian vase featuring an owl – always a popular subject!

One particular animal that always has collectors clamouring for it is the owl – produced in many variations from character examples, to realistic interpretations!

A very unusual version of Granny Owl.

Even before the early HN animals, owls featured in many Doulton Lambeth works of art! The great Leslie Harradine modelled this vase for reproduction; ‘night and day’ shown here with the owl central to the night panel!

There are further examples by the likes of Simmeon and Pope of garden statuary…

…and of course this charming Bibelot…

…to this tooth pick holder…

….and even this wonderful biscuit or tobacco jar in the form of an owl!

Returning to the Burselm studio, owls featured frequently in Doulton’s hand painted wares and in particular their Titanian range such as this example…

…and there is also a charming seriesware pattern featuring owls to collect – although examples are hard to find!

Doulton’s owl studies from the Burselm studio can be found in unusual glazes from Flambé to Sung, although once again these are hard to come by today!

Rare flambé Owl and Owlet.

Perhaps my favourite example is this character owl ‘Granny Owl’ HN 187, wrapped up in her shawl and who perhaps explains their popularity as it embodies that romantic feel Doulton owls have and why collectors fight to own these delightful studies!

Creating your own Doulton aviary! 

 Birds have always been a popular subject in the ceramics world and if they are your passion then Doulton at Burslem, as always, have many lines for you to collect! Rather than simply collecting actual examples such as the swallow, budgerigar, cockatoo or fledglings like those illustrated, you will find handpainted examples on fine bone china as well as many examples featured on Doulton’s famous seriesware patterns, also illustrated. Birds also feature heavily on Doulton’s exclusive Titanian wares, with hand painted varieties painted by leading artists of the time. Humour was a typical forté of Doultons in the 1920’s and they created many comical animal characters in their ranges; above you can see examples of Harry Rowntree’s comical birds on a vase and also a blackbird wearing a fez from Robert Allen’s studio of artists at Butslem on another pair of vases.  In respect of actual examples of birds they can be found throughout the 100 year history of the HN collection as well as in the miniature animal ‘K’ range more commonly associated with dogs and penguins. We must finish by simply mentioning that birds played an important part in the decoration of many of Doulton’s Lambeth works of art too and artists such as Florence Barlow were the leaders of this movement.

Collecting Doulton rabbits and hares.

Mary Bunnykins (1939) who bears a striking resemblance the the earlier lop earred rabbit below. 

There are stories of a school age Charles Noke borrowing clay from the Worcester factory, a favourite visiting place for his father, to model animals and it was Noke who started the HN animal collection at Burslem. 

Lop earred rabbit and hare in a black glaze. 

There are many hare and rabbit models to collect, with many of them also found in flambé. These early models generally ceased production in all colourways -natural, flambé or other – by the mid 20th Century but a handful including the small lop earred rabbit continued to the end of the 20th Century so if collecting it is essential to read up on production dates to gauge the prices you should be paying. 

Very unusual rabbit and young. A larger version was made of this model as often happened at Lambeth, intended to be a garden ornament. 

The rabbit and the hare have a strong history in myth and folklore, stemming back through their apparent 4000 year history – explaining mankind’s on-going love of these furry animals. Today the rabbit in particular is still a popular domestic pet. 

Two further versions of the Hare HN 126 & HN 273.

The Chinese believe the hare or rabbit is ‘the man in the moon’ whilst Taoist beliefs say that these lovable animals derive their essence from the moon! Perhaps it is their nocturnal habits that have led to these beliefs! 

Doulton animals offer collectors -old and new – a great scope for building a collection for the HN animal collection continued into the post war period up until the 1980’s with new introductions throughout those years and in the 1990’s there was a new range -the DA range of animals introduced. Even today Doulton produce the occasional animal. 

Collecting Doulton’s early fledglings! 

Two flambe fledglings, the darker one on the left dating to c.1913.

Introduced at the start of the HN range apparently just in flambe originally, these sweet baby birds are a super set to collect as variation after variation can be found, creating a colourful collection. 

Three characteristically colourful fledglings including the very rare lustre version on the right. 

Of course the term fledgling refers to baby birds and here is a group known as Thrushes (on left) and Fledglings on the right.

Whilst there are only a handful of models to collect the various colour schemes used mean that you may never finish collecting them all and the hunt could go on and on beyond the recorded versions! 

A group illustrating the ‘usual’ colourings : plain yellow, yellow with black highlights and blue and yellow.