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Royal Doulton Flambé – the King of Egyptian commemoratives

Royal Doulton always followed the mantra of offering something for everyone and this certainly rings true when you consider the variety of wares produced over the last 100 years to commemorate Egypt’s great history.

From seriesware such as Tutenkhamen’s Treasures series, to handpainted desert scene pieces, to Flambé pieces, to figures ….. here once again there is something for everyone.

As a child I remember being fascinated by all things Egyptian – a study whilst at school, a trip to museums with grandparents…all fuelled this mania. This mania gripped the world in the early 1920’s with the discovery of this now world famous tomb and Doulton was at the front of the queue to produce commemorative pieces for this event.

One of the most striking series Doulton produced is the Flambé range of wares, featuring  pyramids, the sphinx and numerous other desert scenes. Here are a selection of pieces for you to enjoy!


A striking 14″ vase with a variety of scenes from Cairo.


The same vase on the left, together with two variations of Egyptian scenes to suit the shapes of their respective vases.

Early Doulton blue and white handpainted ware

This is a little recognised area of collecting yet, they show the great potential Doulton of Burslem showed at the end of the 19th Century. There is very little to explain other than these pieces typically cover castles or other monuments such as Durham Cathedral pictured on the tallest of the vases (14″ tall).


These pieces can be bought relatively inexpensively, as many I presume imagine them to be transferware rather than handpainted pieces.


There is no special backstamp to these pieces as you can see from the image above, yet each carries the name of the subject to the body, save the Durham Cathedral piece which is titled to the base.


These rather simplistic designs particularly appeal, especially given the time they were produced when tastes were much more frivalous and over the top!


Collecting Royal Doulton M series figures

It has been a while since any new light was shed on Doulton’s first set of miniatures, so I thought it time to address this!


A page from a catalogue from 1933.

Collectors always looking for the unusual will be pleased to see these original boxes for the M series. They are all typically Art Deco in decoration and there appears to be just three styles of decoration. These little boxes were included in the advertising for the M series as a selling point yet very few exist today, unfortunately!


A group of original boxes in two of the three designs used.


Chloe sitting in her original packaging within her box.

Whilst miniatures offer collectors the opportunity to collect even more figures due to their size, collectors around the world do specialise in just these figures. Like their larger counterparts occasionally colourways turn up and of course like all figures some are more sought after than others.


A striking version of the miniature Polly Peachum

This area of collecting really does offer us bargains as more common figures such as the Paisley Shawl for example are relatively inexpensive at the moment. Yet the quality so typical of Doulton figures is echoed in this range with their miniature faces and exquisite decoration. Even in their hey day Doulton advertised them as being of ‘diminuative’ price too!


The Paisley Shawl next to her original box and complete with original sticker.

Doulton’s range of M figures were available mounted on calendars, pen holders, pin trays… The list is endless! However, the top London jewellers such as Asprey had them mounted with sterling silver fittings and these top make pieces are the most popular today.


A quality desk calendar with another Polly Peachum.

Whatever your tastes and needs, as always Doulton had something for everyone and thus established a strong buying base with collectors around the world. As Henry Doulton once said it was easier to sell something expensive but of better quality than something cheaper and of lesser quality!


And finally a recent find, looking very smart the Crinoline Lady atop a pin dish.

So why not start a collection of these charming miniature figures and have fun deciding how to display them yourselves!