An early catalogue page c.1910 featuring Dutch Harlem.
At a time when Holland and all thins Dutch were ‘de rigueur’ Royal Doulton produced various Dutch themed pieces including figures in their HN collection, examples of handpainted wares and also 8 different Dutch themed seriesware designs.
Four pin trays illustrating how scenes could be manipulated and also the variation in colours that can be found.
The focus here is Dutch Harlem, one of Royal Doulton’s most enduringly popular designs of all seriesware patterns. Designed by the great Charles Noke and introduced in 1904, this series alone contained 35 scenes and remained in production until c.1943.
A selection of unusual shapes featuring Dutch Harlem.
As was typical scenes were gradually introduced and even adapted. Such adaptations included enhancing the colours used and introducing new shapes to be used.
Unusual match box cover and stand.
A particularly unusual version of Dutch Harlem was produced exclusively for the great London store Liberty’s, and further exclusive productions of biscuit barrels were produced for the biscuit manufacturers McVitie and Price.
A variety of Dutch themed seriesware items produced by Royal Doulton, including Dutch Harlem.
This familiar design is and was produced by many China manufacturers since the late 18th Century, although Royal Doulton created their own colour scheme aside from the traditional blue and white.
In all there are 6 scenes to collect detailing the lives of Chang and Koongshee, all with appropriate titles to their reverse. Each scene although vaguely Chinese in style, is in fact a European interpretation of oriental life and the characters portrayed were conceived sometime in the early 1800s.
Produced from 1920 and withdrawn sometime around the time of WWII, Willow Pattern Story has been found on plates, a cup and saucer and most recently the meat platter illustrated.
Few designs have the followers of this particular Royal Doulton art nouveau design. Well over a century after its introduction in 1909, today collectors still compete for unusual items featuring this iconic design.
Although it had a relatively long production period until sometime after the outbreak of WWII, examples of it, other than rack plates are very hard to find.
Over the years I have seen tennis sets, toilet sets, dinner plates and various jugs in collections around the world, yet, each collection has a specific focus of either decoration for the bathroom, the use of rack plates in a sitting or dining room or else simply part of a wider collection of Royal Doulton’s famous serieswares.
There are three colour variations to be found, namely pink, blue and a yellow version. Interestingly there is also a special backstamp to be found which reads ‘sleep gentle sleep’, no doubt a reference to the symbolic use of poppies for those fallen in war and also recalling that famous line from Shakespeare’s Henry VI, Part II.
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.
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!