Category Archives: Art nouveau

Royal Doulton’s  Nursery Rhymes Series L – a look back…

 A smart child’s breakfast set, once popular christening presents. 

Classic nursery rhymes have long provided much inspiration for Doulton’s designers and just like many Seriesware designs the L range was influenced by another artist, Ann Anderson.

  Introduced in 1916 there were 12 different designs produced featuring classic characters such as Little Tommy Tucker, the Queen of Hearts and This Little Pig. 

A variation of the boxed set above.

Typically produced in bone china the precise date of withdrawal is unknown, although the outbreak of WWII is given as it is with so many of Doulton’s different lines. The bases of items with these designs can carry H or D numbers for this series ware pattern.

Beaker with silver plated handle and original retailer’s box.

As with so many series ware designs hunting down items provides a great challenge and a collection of them makes a great display.

Royal Doulton’s Morissian Ware.

Morrisian ware 1903-1924
Named after William Morris, whose influence is immediately recognisable in the borders and of course in the backstamp often found on this ware. 

Close up of a Morrisian umbrella stand.

With endless variations and some which do not always carry the Morrisian backstamp, it does make this type of ware an interesting field to collect as only through experience do we recognise it. 

Another umbrella stand, this time showing William Morris’ influence.

The earthenware body used is decorated in various transfer images, the most desirable of which are those of the American illustrator Will Bradley from “Beauty and the Beast”. Typically pieces of Morrisian Ware are also on the larger size.

 A further shape of umbrella stand.

The most typical scenes are those of dancing girls, young boys with garlands, Bradley’s illustrations mentioned above and a series of golfers.


A typical pedestal vase with dancing figures. 
As was typical of Doulton, their in-house artists also did pastiches of Bradley’s designs of golfers and dancing maidens. 

A rare blue and white umbrella stand with solid gold decoration.

The three most typical colour schemes are blue and white, black and red and black on yellow. A rare blue with solid gold also turns up occasionally.

Royal Doulton’s famous ‘Witches’ pattern.

Thanks to the team at Seaway China for the images used here. 

When it comes to hard to find seriesware patterns, Doulton’s ‘Witches’ series is one of the most difficult to find today! 

Here is a rare three piece teaset including teapot, milk and sugar – all in wonderful original condition that is even more unusual!

Introduced in 1906 examples of this series ware pattern are among the hardest to trace today. It’s precise date of withdrawal is unknown but I can imagine the ‘by 1928’ is simply a guesstimate and in reality production would have been much more limited given its scarcity today.

As with all seriesware patterns a collection of one theme makes a real statement and the pleasure of collecting and searching out that rare item is what drives collectors to continue! 

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!

Collecting Royal Doulton’s Hiawatha seriesware design.

It is not surprising to find this series at the start of the 20th Century as at this time there were tours by Native Americans to Europe and there was much interest in them and their way of life. Doulton’s series was introduced in 1908 and withdrawn in 1949, and whilst it is a long production period examples of this pattern are hard to find today, with rack plates the most easily found. In 1938 the border designs were given additional colouring, thus revamping the series. 

The fictional character Hiawatha from Longfellow’s poem The Song of Hiawatha is the tale of a Native American hero, although originally he was to be called Manabozho. Longfellow’s character was a medicine man, defender of and beacon for his people.

The name is taken from Hiawatha (Born: 1525 – Died: 1595) who was an early pre-colonial Native American leader and depending on differing sources, was a leader of the Onondaga, or the Mohawk or perhaps even both. 

As well as rack plates, chargers, tankards, tobacco jars and dressing table sets have been found featuring the five recorded designs that make up the range, all with appropriate Longfellow quotations often referring to Haiwatha’s wisdom or else his famous belt. The borders are typically elaborate for early designs and feature wigwams. 

Doulton’s John Hassall ware. 

Perhaps most famous for his advertising posters for the likes of Beecham’s Pills and Coleman’s Mustard, however Doulton collectors are perhaps more familiar with John Hassall’s ‘naughty children’ and ‘The Twins’ designs that feature on Lambeth wares such as jardinières, vases and flasks.

Doulton ware from Burslem can also be found bearing his designs including the ‘Hooked’ kingsware flask featuring a humorous fisherman and his catch. 

Hassall was known as the poster king at one point because of his advertising designs mentioned above, but also posters advertising popular tourist destinations here in the UK.

Collaborations between Hassall and Cecil Aldin can also be found, and these two artists were friends with Dudley Hardy, again another famous illustrator from the early 20th Century. 

Edmund Dulac’s influence on Royal Doulton’s HN Collection.

EDMUND DULAC 1882 – 1953
Dulac was born in Toulouse, France. His artistic ability showed itself early on and drawings exist from his early teens. He won the 1901 and 1903 Grand Prix for his paintings submitted to annual competitions whilst at the Ecole des Beaux Arts. A scholarship took him to Paris and the Academie Julien where he stayed for three weeks. That same year (1904) he left for London and the start of a meteoric career. 

A chance happening across Dulac’s Picture Book for the French Red Cross (1915) led to the following discoveries:

BLUEBEARD HN75 issued in 1917. E W Light.

MANDERIN HN84 issued in 1918 .Charles Noke.


ONE OF THE FORTY HN417 issued in 1920. Harry Tittensor.

Dulac’s illustration above and others by him were used in an early 20th Century version of the popular takes 1001 Arabian Nights.

Also inspired by Dulac illustrations but not shown here is PRINCESS BADOURA HN2081 issued in 1952 again by Harry Tittensor.