Category Archives: Colourways

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!

An early colour trial for Harradine’s ‘Karen’.

Always on the look out for the unusual I recently spotted this colour trial for Karen HN1994 that was eventually produced in a red colourway. It is the second time I’ve seen her in black suggesting that this black and white version was a serious consideration and must have done the rounds both sides of the Atlantic to garner her popularity prior to production.

Like many models introduced just after the war, Doulton held any war time introductions back until the war was over in 1945. The model for Karen (no.1237) dates to ca.1943, whereas the figure produced as HN1994 was introduced in 1947 and withdrawn in 1955.
Another nice feature is the crispness of the modelling in the black and white version, that you can hopefully make out from the picture.

The International Ceramics and Glass Fair and 200 Years of Royal Doulton – an event not to be missed!

Don’t forget the world’s major Doulton extravaganza is just around the corner!

To reserve your tickets visit

And follow this link-


A rare colourway of Doulton’s Little Bridesmaid HN1530.


I thought I would share this picture of the three versions of The Little Bridesmaid as the final colourway HN1530 was not available for the last edition of Royal Doulton Figures in 1994. As is typically the case if you wait – sometimes for countless years – that one piece may turn up.

This popular figure remained in production as HN1433 until 1951 and keen eyes can easily distinguish earlier and later versions based on the depth of colour, the backstamp and face.

The elusive HN1530 belongs to a small group of figures with early HN1500 numbers including Pantalettes and Priscilla who were issued once again in complimentary orange colourways just like this Little Bridesmaid.

The yellow HN1434 is the earliest example in the picture above and you can hopefully see how the angle of her head differs to the other two. Alas her head is often prone to being knocked off! Making these three perfect examples all the more unusual!

An Amazing Adventure – Part 2


Continuing my look back at last Saturday’s talk, here are a few more choice items from the selection that I took along. The premise of the talk was ‘My Collection’.
In this section the theme was the development of figures, so I took the art nouveau, square Harradine vase along so as to discuss Harradine’s roll but also the links with Doulton from his time as an apprentice modeller, to the period 1910-14 when he supplied models to Lambeth on a freelance basis and finally how the link with Burslem was established with the introduction of his first figure into the HN Collection in 1920.
The first figure we looked at was Harradine’s original model for Micawber and we discussed the process and arrangement he had with Charles Noke.
Next up were the M series and these original boxes for them. Most of these M figures were of course based on Harradine’s larger models.
A popular theme for all figure collectors has always – well since HN1 – been children so I shared a few favourites from the Nursery figures set including a prototype in my collection.
Honey and her inspiration followed, a typical painting by Stanislaus Longley, who Harradine used repeatedly for inspiration. Interestingly this work was also used by the famous London store Liberty for a Christmas catalogue cover in the 1930’s – and that is also pictured.
This section was completed with a discussion on colourways and I shared a version of Clothilde that I have from 1937.

Next time I’ll share some Burslem art wares that we discussed!

Royal Doulton’s figure surveys.

A table of figures of which only a fraction were eventually produced.

Prototypes and colourways have been the subject of previous articles, but I thought you all might like to see these few pictures I have come across of figure evaluation events. Typically these occurred in the US and Canada during the 1960’s-80’s.

Another display featuring a wonderful red colourway of Sweet Seventeen that turned up at the Doulton museum sale in London.

At first security at such events appears to have been lax with figures ‘escaping’ during their travels, but as time went on Doulton began to appreciate what value these survey pieces had and storage even at the factory improved greatly. Indeed, Doulton ‘sat’ on prototypes for many years, sometimes decades as with the figure Elizabeth HN2465 from 1970 that was only out into production in 1990 or the handful of Mary Nicoll ladies such as Lesley that appeared many years after their original production. You can see some of these figures in the pictures shown here on this page.

A young collector casts their vote for their favourites.

The majority of prototypes that turn up appear to be from the 1940’s onwards, indicating that the majority of models produced before this time were put into production – the length of production indicating popularity. Yet, earlier prototypes do turn up and whilst I have heard people say that all Harradine’s models went into production, this is not the case as even his models faced heavy scrutiny after 1940 and began not to go into production but would face market surveys.

Not the best illustration but a lovely colourway of a favourite prototype by Mary Nicoll from 1971, titled ‘Smith minor’ right at the front of the picture. A figure of a young boy off to school sat on his trunk and holding his cricket bat.

Perhaps you have a survey figure in your collection? If so we would love to hear from you and why not post a picture to our Facebook page ‘Doulton Collectors Club’!

Royal Doulton’s dreamy yellow and orange figures.


We all normally associate bright reds, blues and greens with Doulton figures, however, there were a small group of early figures that fit into the peachy, yellow-orange bracket as you can see above.

The majority of these figures have HN numbers around 1500, indeed the colourway of Sweet Anne pictured actually carries the HN number 1529, an HN number we associate with the colourway of A Victorian Lady – also pictured above. This group of ladies are typically finished with green accessories; usually a gorgeous hue of green to compliment the yellowy orange colouring. The wonderful thing about these ladies is the depth of the colouring involved – a real forte of the Doulton painters of the time who would re-fire the colours multiple times to achieve the desired effect.

This demure band of ladies are all colour co-ordinated, yet, there are others we can add to this dreamy crowd. Here is a colourway of Pauline in orange.


Perhaps you too own figures that belong to this group. If so why not share them via our facebook page ‘Doulton Collectors Club’. We look forward to welcoming you!

Doulton’s ‘red’ ladies

Red has long been one of the most popular colours amongst figure collectors, but it took almost 20 years for Doulton to cotton on!

The earliest figures were produced in a rainbow of colours but it wasn’t until the late 1920’s that red colourways of figures began to emerge with the introduction of figures such as Kathleen, Priscilla and Rosina.

Thereafter there has been a parade of other red figures culminating in the late 1930’s and the immediate years after the war with the introduction if three of the most famous Doulton ladies ever: Top o’ the hill, Auntumn Breezes and of course Christmas Morn. The lengthy production of these figures not only stands as popular proof of the model but also the popularity of their colourways!

Here are a selection of my favourite ‘red’ ladies!


Since the introduction of Christmas Morn there have been an array of other ladies in red – perhaps you have them in your collections?

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Doulton’s Titanian ware

There were two great Doulton art factories in the 1920’s, with others factories both in the UK and in Europe too where more utilitarian goods such as Doulton drainpipes and sanitaryware were produced.

In Burslem, where figure production had been revived, Doulton’s Art Director, C. J. Noke was simultaneously keen to establish and indeed re-discover many of the ancient Chinese transmutation glazes of yesteryear. He had already re-discovered, introduced to the public in 1904 at the St. Louis Exhibition and by the 1920’s firmly established the world famous Doulton Flambé glazes but Noke together with his team of assistants continued experimenting with glazes and bodies so that today we have other glaze wares including Chang, Chinese Jade and of course Titanian to collect.


The diversity of Titanianwares from handpainted, to glaze, to seriesware.

The unique Titanian glaze uses a titanium oxide which results in a bluey colour and pieces of Titanian ware can vary from white to dark blue glazes.


An unusual Titanian vase illustrating the varied colour of this glaze.

It was often used as the background to Doulton’s fine porcelain wares that were painted with typically birds but also oriental figures and flowers by leading artists including Harry Allen, F. Henri and Harry Tittensor.


A charming Titanian vase and owl, handpainted.


A group of desireable, floral Titanian vases.


A typical Titanian vase signed F. Allen.


A tall Titanian vase with a Bird of Paradise design.

Doulton’s seriesware was also in some instances given a Titanian glaze including the Sunset with Poplars range and of course the Tutankhamen set commemorating the opening of the Egyptian King’s tomb in the early 1920’s.


A Titanian lidded sugar commemorationg the opening of Tutankhamen’s tomb.

Figures too were given the Titanian treatment and three of the rarest figures today are commonly found in Titanian when they occasionally do turn up, namely the Australian and New Zealand Digger figures and their British counterpart Blighty – all issued at the end of the first world war.


The rare Blighty in a Titanian glaze.

The body of Titanian pieces can vary immensely from an egg-shell like porcelain to a heavy earthenware. This diversity in body is reflected in the price range for these wares, but this in turn allows varied scope for collectors today.


Here is a heavily gilden earthenware Titanian rose bowl.

My own particular tastes when it comes to Titanian are for the unusual shapes and glaze effects rather than the handpainted items. The Titanian glaze was introduced in 1915 and in production until ca.1930  and so pieces of Titanian ware can be found if you have a keen eye or if you have a dealer onside who will search these pieces out.


A catalogue page from 1924 illustrating the types of pieces that appeal to me.


A group of interesting shaped Titanian vases.


Above and below a lustred Titanian dish with butterfly.


As always, if you have pieces in your collections please share via our Doulton Collectors Club facebook page!