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!