Category Archives: Doulton animals

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!

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Royal Doulton’s ‘Dogs of Character’.

An early publicity shot for the series.

Although the modeller or modellers for this delightful set of dogs is unknown, inspiration for them comes directly from the many dog illustrations by Cecil Aldin.

The cover of ‘A dog day’ illustrated by Aldin.

The series was expanded at a handful of points. The original six models were introduced in 1934, then a further two in 1937. These were succeeded by four more models in 1938. There was a large gap then until 1959 when the character dog with slipper was introduced.

A group of character dogs including the rarer HN1098.

From this original set there were withdrawals in 1959 and these are naturally the most sought after.

Another of the first withdrawals HN1101.

At some point in their early production, the series also had an early backstamp unique to it.


A further six studies were added to the set in 1941 and are HN2585-2590. The popularity of this set meant that the remaining dogs were in production until 1985 and even after this a handful were re-produced under the Beswick brand, although these later ones are instantly distinguishable from the Doulton ones due to their lack of detail.

Variations in dogs and occasional prototypes do turn up and I know of a dog playing with a tin and ball of string and here on the right is a rare version of HN1099 with a front paw modelled differently.



A catalogue page showing the first 12 dogs in the set ca.1938.

All content and pictures © Christopher Evans 2014.

Doulton’s dog derivatives…

Just when your cabinets are full to capacity you discover that there is something else to collect – so say all collectors!

Similarly with Doulton’s array of dogs, there is a derivative for everyone be it ….

A pencil holder/pin tray….


A bust of your favourite breed…


A bookend (shown minus the mahogany mount)…


Ash trays….


And even brooches…


As with everything Doulton…they aimed to cater for every taste and the variety of objects that can be found is limitless and not restricted to the examples above.

On my own desk I have a calendar with a character Pekingese puppy and a stamp dish with a character fox.

The fun in collecting is not knowing what is around the corner and this field of collecting Doulton certainly offers that variety! Happy collecting!

Dishes, bookends and calendars!

Collectors are often bemused to see their cherished figures mounted on bookends, calendars and dishes! This trend began in the early 1920’s at the same time as the figure lamps were produced.

‘M’ series miniatures are perhaps most often associated with bookends and certain calendars like these below.

Occasionally very rare figures turn up mounted on bases, such as this Crinoline Lady pin tray.


Harradine’s small Dickens figures appear mounted on a variety of bases, like this selection too.


Small Doulton animals are also found mounted as many different objects but particularly desk furniture. Here is a comical fox I found mounted as a stamp tray.


And also a Sealyham begging mounted on this calendar.


As many of you know Pekingese play an important part of my life and I have managed to assemble this small group of objects all with mounted Pekingese!


Many of these objects, especially those mounted with sterling fittings would have been retailed by top jewellers of the period including Asprey and Garrards in London. Even more ‘normal’ objects such as pin trays were given sterling mounts so as to make them exclusive objects for top jewellers, such as this Shagreen pin dish (in an unusual blue) which has been given silver mounts to turn it into an an ashtray!


This is only a sample of possible objects, and we would love to hear from you if you have other items mounted with Royal Doulton on our Doulton Collectors Facebook page!

Doulton’s miniature kittens!


There are a number of animal groups popular with collectors and which are fun to track down to complete the set.

Just like the piglets we looked at recently, there are six kittens in this set too, and conveniently three are ginger and three are brown, again allowing us to create a pleasant grouping.

These kittens, just like the piglets were the work of the great Peggy Davies when first apprenticed to Doulton. They were introduced in 1941 and withdrawn in the mid 1980’s.

As with all things a Doulton the longer an item is out of production, the more it is sought after and these kittens are no exception. Happy collecting!

Royal Doulton’s ‘K’ series


The ‘K’ series began in 1931 with the introduction of 12 dogs and 1 cat. In total there are 39 subjects in this series. There are 18 breeds of dogs, one cat (Lucky K12), penguins, birds and finally a trio of hares!
The penguins are perennial favourites amongst collectors and the 11 birds are all particularly rare as they were introduced in 1940 and withdrawn by 1946.
Whilst the designers if the majority are unknown, the popular penguins can be attributed to Peggy Davies.
The ‘K’ dogs in particular can readily be found mounted on calendars and ashtrays, although pen holders and pipe holders have turned up.
This range offers collectors a real cross section of Doulton animals to collect and the discerning eye will readily distinguish between an early and a late model.
Happy hunting!

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Doulton’s great British bulldogs

Inspired by a recent post to our facebook page, here is a little something on Doulton’s perennially popular Bulldogs!

Doulton’s most famous figure, The Old Balloon Seller with her Bulldog ca. 1938.
Royal Doulton’s bulldog models have been on ‘active service’ since 1917 and are collectively the most collected canine model produced by Royal Doulton. When one considers the diversity of bulldog pieces to collect, we quickly understand their popularity. The bulldog was originally kept for bull baiting here in England, but this was abolished in 1838 and since this time, the bulldog has been
bred into a much tamer breed.

The bulldog’s association with all things British and of course lately the world of James Bond, stems from the two world wars of the twentieth century. In 1917, Royal Doulton produced a large khaki Bulldog, seated with either a tin hat or a tam o’shanter (cap) representing the uniforms of English and Scottish soldiers during the First World War.



Bulldog in khaki with tam o’shanter.

In 1941, Royal Doulton went on to produce a series of seated Bulldogs with union jacks draped on their backs, representing and helping to promote the national feeling during this difficult period in history.


Bulldog with union flag.

A further two models of Bulldogs were produced at this time representing Winston Churchill, the famous British wartime leader and
national hero, wearing different headgear and smoking his familiar cigar!


Above and below, two more Winston Churchill inspired bulldogs.


Versions of bulldogs draped in union jack flags were actually produced earlier as advertising flasks for alcohol retailers. There are other very rare variations of Doulton bulldogs to be found including one with an eye patch and another in a Khaki glaze with the familiar union jack on its back.

Some of the rarest bulldogs to find include bulldog flasks, a very unusual wall pocket and also bulldogs mounted on pottery boxes. It is thus not surprising to see that this famous Doulton hero has been adopted as the spirit of British survival and given a starring role in the latest James Bond film, Skyfall, where he survives an assassination attempt on ‘M’ in London, England.


And finally, a wonderful flambé bulldog.

As always many thanks to Seaway China for the use of their photo library. CE.