I’m not sure if this is unique to me or if any other collectors out there once bitten by the Royal Doulton bug also just went out and bought whatever they could afford at the time with little thought given to the collection itself and whether it should consist of jugs only of a certain size, subject, date, etc. I remember being at a local auction and being advised by a much older and clearly much wiser collector of character jugs, to focus on a certain subject, collection or size rather than just buying whatever whenever as I would struggle to complete a collection with the hundreds of different characters produced by Royal Doulton and I would in all likely hood run out of room to display them all.
Needless to say, after a couple of years of collecting, I soon realised that collecting large jugs meant having to have the space for either a very large display cabinet or lots of smaller cabinets, neither of which turned out to be an option for me. With that in mind I set about selling a number of the more common large jugs to invest in one or two special edition or short production run jugs, these may be quite a bit harder to find and cost a little more, but their value will also continue to increase over time.
The first limited edition jug I bought was King And Queen Of Clubs which I found on Bid Or Buy, a South African based on line market place where sellers either put their goods up for sale at a set price or on auction with the item selling to the highest bidder. As a regular buyer and seller on this site, I would highly recommend a visit if you’re looking for something in particular or just wanting to have a bit of a browse. The King And Queen Of Clubs, D6999 was designed by Stanley James Taylor, issued in 1995 in a limited edition of 2500, as you can see below, my jug is number 1243 of 2500. It is one of the suites from the playing card series. Another reason I was particularly drawn to this jug was because it is double-sided, which opened a whole new possible collecting direction. To date I have not come across any of the other card suites in this series on sale in my price range, but I have no doubt that I will.
My second limited edition purchase, W.G. Grace, D6845, was at a live local auction and I was particularly drawn to this jug because I am a bit of a sports nut, so any time I can combine both my passion for Royal Doulton character jugs with my love of sport, is a red letter day for me. The small jug was commissioned by Lawleys By Post, designed by Stanley James Taylor and issued in 1989 in a limited edition of 9,500 pieces to commemorate William Gilbert Grace (1848 – 1915), the professional cricketer, better known as ‘The Champion’, who started playing cricket at 16 and retired at 60 after 44 record breaking seasons. As you can see below, my jug is number 7688 of 9500.
I also decided that due to the short one year production run of the ‘jug of the year’ that this too would be a good collecting direction to head in. Starting in 1991, one jug was selected as jug of the year and luckily enough, the first one I managed to purchase was indeed the 1991 Fortune Teller jug of the year. This is the only one I have managed to come across in my price range to date, but the search goes on and at the end of the day that is for me the greatest thrill of collecting out of production Doulton.
Let me know of any rare jugs you have added to your collection or even if you’re looking for a particular jug and I will add to my daily search list with pleasure and at no charge to you, as it really is a pleasure to search for Royal Doulton treasure and a thrill second to none when one actually finds it!!!!!
Visit royaldoultonguide.com and contact me with any comments or queries regarding anything Doulton.