Category Archives: Seriesware

Collecting Doulton’s Bluebell Gatherers.

This delightful series was introduced in 1914 at the start of the First World War however, early examples can still be found despite wartime restrictions.

  In total there are some 12 scenes to collect which can bear one of three reference numbers: D3567, D3812 and E8503.  

  The series was withdrawn by 1928 and whilst rack plates are the most easily found items from this romantic series other items such as the sugar shaker and even a tea set have been found. 

  Typical of the early patterns they feature much hand painting too that give them an extra special appeal to collectors! 

Royal Doulton’s ‘Arabian Nights’ seriesware design.

  We have looked at several patterns of late, but this is one of a large group inspired by literature.

Introduced in 1909 there are some 13 designs to collect with a trio of borders to them; the most usual being the ivy border and the rarest the ‘Japanese’ border that I have only had once on a rack plate.

The designs featured are of course based on the many stories contained in The Thousand and One Nights or as we know it the Arabian Nights. 

Ali Baba is a particularly common theme among the designs produced, as well as several more general titles including ‘Preparing for the Feast’.

This colourful series makes an impressive display and also a successful backdrop for many of Doulton’s Arabian figures such as The Cobbler or Abdullah.


Collecting H. M. Bateman’s illustrations on Doulton seriesware! 

Henry Mayo Bateman was an Australian illustrator, most famous for his cartoons captioned ‘the man who….’. 

 These illustrations featured a haphazard man who continually ‘puts his foot in it’ as we say here in the UK, meaning that he commits the most awkward gaffes! 

  His cartoons were featured in leading magazines of the period including The Tatler and Sketch. 

  Returning to his seriesware illustrations they are termed as rare among collectors who appreciate the humour of his scenes and when they do turn up even on small items they regularly reach three figure sums! His designs on Doultonware feature a facsimile signature and from experience date to 1937-8.

Collecting Doulton’s ‘Surfing’ seriesware pattern. 

Part of an early catalogue page featuring ‘Surfing’.

Introduced in 1926 at the height of the roaring 1920’s this truly deco pattern must have been considered too modern to the general buying public of the time as examples rarely appear today. 

Distinctly Art Deco in style and echoing the handful of.    figures of bathers and swimmers in Doulton’s HN collection, this seriesware pattern is the perfect accompaniment to a display of deco ladies. 

There appears to be only one scene within this pattern, although I have seen it on numerous items, including most recently a pin tray. Although shapes were added to the series in 1928, production will have been very limited given the lack of this pattern appearing on the secondary market and will have been withdrawn long before the suggested ‘by 1942’ that is often suggested.   

Collecting Doulton’s ‘Hunting – John Peel’ seriesware pattern.

This series together with Coaching Days and Royal Mail are easily mistaken for one another on first glance given their similar palette. There were a handful of other patterns  to Hunting – John Peel all celebrating this once popular pastime, now out of favour. 

There are 9 recorded patterns dating from 1924 to an unknown withdrawal date. Some are often found in combination as you can see above and below with scenes 2 & 3. 

Interestingly the later designs bear an H number (1947) rather than the traditional D numbers associated with seriesware or the very early patterns that have the earlier E numbers if they were on china.

The great thing about seriesware is that the possibilities for making a collection are plentiful! Naturally you can collect one particular pattern, or miniatures, or particular shapes or like me pin dishes and ash trays like the one above! 

Collecting Doulton’s Coaching Days seriesware pattern.

One of Doulton’s most popular seriesware lines remains their Coaching Days series. Introduced in 1905 and finally withdrawn in 1955, examples from this series can be found but earlier shapes and ceramic bodies make certain pieces more sought after! 

Earthenware was the typical body but examples can be found on a china body. The series was originally designed by Victor Venner between c.1904-1924, with unknown others contributing designs too. 

With 20 recorded scenes and a multitude of shapes that the series can be found on, this series provides much scope for collectors to assemble an impressive display. Above is a pin tray from my own collection. 

Unusual scenes do turn up such as the one on the small pie crust dish. Labelled as E3804, it is an unusual find and on china too, hence the E number.  


Examples of Coaching Days are easily confused with both ‘Royal Mail’ and ‘Hunting John Peel’ scenes and do display well together! 

Doulton’s Dutch Masterpieces.

We have looked at some popular Dutch themes already, but I love a collecting and indeed display theme so it is time to look at it a new!

A mixture of the popular and unusual Doulton Dutch Seriesware patterns and shapes. 

The wonder of Seriesware is that it offers something for every collector – for new collectors there are many familiar faces to collect and for the die hard collector you never quite know what will turn up! 

Four pin dishes illustrating the variety of seriesware that can be found! 

There was even a version of this popular theme created specially for Liberty of London with a blue sky. 

Two colourways of popular 1930’s Dutch figures Annette and Gretchen, and an illustration showing the popularity of all things Dutch in the early 20th Century.

Even well into the 1930’s Doulton were producing their Dutch figures such as Gretchen and Derrick and a glimpse through catalogues and adverts for major stores including Liberty of London, proves the then popularity of all things Dutch with page after page of Dutch inspired decorative items for the home.  


The popular pair Gretchen and Derrick.

Collectors show great invention when displaying their collections and whilst some mix seriesware and figures excellently, others rely on illustrations to emphasise the theme they are creating, such as the picture below by AK Macdonald, who inspired a small group of Leslie Harradine’s figures in the 1930’s. 


Perhaps you arrange your collection in a particular way? If so why not share it with us on our Doulton Collectors Club facebook page!