Category Archives: Limited Edition Loving Cups and Jugs

Royal Doulton Spotlight: the Limited Edition “Pied Piper Jug” (1934).

We are all no doubt familiar with the story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin from our own childhoods, the hero who rid the town of its rat problem but who then turned on the town after its residents refused to pay him the agreed sum for his services. 

Doulton’s range of limited edition loving cups and jugs are avidly collected around the world and their enduring popularity can be attributed to the fantastic detail and riot of colour present on each of the 30 plus examples first produced in 1930. 

Originally the brain child of Charles Noke, he was often assisted by another of Doulton’s most skilled craftsmen, Harry Fenton and both of their signatures can be found on their work.

Doulton’s Pied Piper Jug was produced in a limited edition of 600 pieces in 1934 and designed by both Noke and Fenton. Measuring 10″ it depicts the two aspects of the famous take on each side: the removal of the rats watched over by the mayor and then the children leaving after the town’s refusal to pay the Piper his fee. As was typical of these limited edition pieces the base is also of great interest; here there is a version of the tale printed for collectors.

Of course the story is actually based on legend although it’s precise origins are not clear. Certainly the town in Germany, Hamelin, exists and plays upon this famous legend. A stained glass window once in the town and dating to 1330 depicted the tale and it is well documented in the Luneburg manuscript (c.1440-50) where the story is recounted in detail.

Whether you collect just these limited edition jugs or Royal Doulton generally, this piece will sit perfectly with a collection of similar jugs and there are also a plethora of other Pied Piper related Doulton items from Character Jugs to figures to collect, to make an eye-catching display! 


Royal Doulton’s William Wordsworth Loving Cup! 

  Doulton’s 1933 tribute to William Wordsworth (1770-1850), produced to commemorate his being made poet laureate, is among the most rare of the Loving Cups and Jugs first produced by Doulton in the 1930’s. The range of Loving Cups and Jugs was the brainchild of Charles Noke, Doulton’s famous Art Director at their Nile Street studios.


The enduring popularity of Doulton’s Limited Edition Loving Cups and Jugs lies in the quality and decoration afforded to each by Doulton’s leading artists. No attention to detail was spared and even the bases of these jugs are an art work in themselves! 

The Wordsworth Loving Cup was modelled by Noke himself and it bears his signature to the body. The cup features a portrait of the poet below a view of Grasmere Church, his final resting place, around the rim and on the other side a portrait of his sister Dorothy below Dove cottage, her home that he once shared. Both locations can be found in Grasmere in the Lake District in the UK. 

Wordsworth is forever remembered for his beautiful poetry and among his admirers was one Henry Doulton, who after meeting Wordsworth commented that the latter was the most ‘…potent force in the poetry of the 19th Century…’.