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 The model for Karen (no.1237) dates to ca.1943, whereas the figure produced as HN1994 was introduced in 1947 and withdrawn in 1955.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!