Dating Royal Doulton Bunnykins

There are a few hints when determining the age of a piece, the backstamp, the shape and colour.   Bunnykins was originally designed by Sister Mary Barbara Vernon, and her name is seen on wares up until the mid 1950’s.  Waltar Hayward took over during the 1950’s until the mid 1980’s, adding many of his own designs.


1.This is the first backstamp dating 1937-1953, which featured the bunnys under the Royal Doulton logo with the word “Bunnykins” below.  Early pieces occasionaly  have the green Royal Doulton ‘A’ backstamp as well as shown here during 1930’s and 40’s.  Early examples from 1934-1937 may just have the Royal Doulton backstamp on its own with a number next to it, or just the word “bunnykins” below.  An impressed date mark was also used on early Royal Doulton ware, which makes the piece easy to date – eg 9.39 denotes a production date of September 1939.

A black outline in monochrome bunnykins backstamp was used from around 1942-1948.

2. This backstamp was used from 1954-1958.

3. The registered trademark, R in the circle was added below the bunny’s and dates the piece to between 1959 and 1975 on earthenware.

4. This backstamp is usually found after 1967, English Bone China was added as earthenware was dropped in favour of bone china.  These pieces are also noticeable by the change in colour, as the bone china is more white compared to the cream colour of earthenware.

5.  This backstamp has the copyright 1936oRoyal Doulton (UK).  People often make the mistake of thinking because it has the date 1936 on it that this is when the item dates to.  This is incorrect, this backstamp with the copyright is seen on later pieces (1976-1987).  After this, the copyright date 1988 is seen from 1988-1993, then it reverts back to the copyright 1936 post 1993.

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4 thoughts on “Dating Royal Doulton Bunnykins

    • Hi,

      I have not come across one of those, but I think it is probably the initial of the artist that painted the piece, but again, I am not 100% sure. There are many books available on Bunnykins, I would suggest perhaps researching the mark this way, I’ve found that one has to often wear the detective hat when researching a piece and isn’t that really half of the fun of owning a vintage piece of Royal Doulton? I would be very interested to hear how you get on with your investigation.

      Royal Doulton Guide

  1. Hi I have a bunny skins royal doulton plate clock fine bone china has the hallmark so its not fake and in great condition its picture is a classroom with blackboard and student bunnys sitting around listening to the teacher wondering how much its worth thanks Jamie

    • Hi Jamie,

      When it comes to valuing pieces, for a realistic figure, I would suggest looking at online auction sites and seeing what the item or similar items sold for, rather than what sellers are selling for as something is really only worth what someone is prepared to pay for it.

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