Royal Doulton Charater Jug Of The Month – March 2015

Collecting Royal Doulton Jugs Of The Year has meant spending endless hours searching for the proverbial needle in a haystack, but at the same time has led to some wonderful finds.  My latest ‘find’ required a considerable amount of online bidding as a bidding war broke out between myself and an on the floor bidder at the auction house and then required a 300km round trip to finally bring, Winston Churchill, Royal Doulton Jug Of The Year 1992, home.

So, in a nutshell collecting these character jugs is not for the faint hearted, but you can be sure of a white knuckle ride every single time you try to add another to your collection.

Winston Churchill - Jug Of The Year 1992

Winston Churchill Large D6907

Designed by Stanley J. Taylor

A little about Sir Winston Churchill – Courtesy of

Conservative 1940 to 1945, 1951 to 1955


The Fortune Teller – My Royal Doulton Character Jug Of The Month – July 2013



This is the second version of The Fortune Teller character jug by Royal Doulton – this version was issued in 1991 and was also jug of the year.  The detail on this Royal Doulton jug is just phenomenal and the more you study the jug, the more detail you find, it truly is a wonderful character jug and a treasured piece in my collection.

– A little more on fortune telling courtesy of wikipedia:

‘Fortune-telling is the practice of predicting information about a person’s life. The scope of fortune-telling is in principle identical with the practice of divination. The difference is that divination is the term used for predictions considered part of a religious ritual, invoking deities or spirits, while the term fortune-telling implies a less serious or formal setting, even one ofpopular culture, where belief in occult workings behind the prediction is less prominent than the concept of suggestion, spiritual or practical advisory or affirmation.

Historically, fortune-telling grows out of folkloristic reception of Renaissance magic, specifically associated with Romani people. During the 19th and 20th century, methods of divination from non-Western cultures, such as the I Ching, were also adopted as methods of fortune-telling in western popular culture.

An example of divination or fortune-telling as purely an item of pop culture, with little or no vestiges of belief in the occult, would be the Magic 8-Ball sold as a toy by Mattel, or Paul II, a cephalopod of the Sea Life Aquarium at Oberhausen used to predict the outcome of matches played by the German national football team.[1]

There is opposition against fortune-telling in Christianity and Judaism based on biblical prohibitions against divination. This sometimes causes discord in the Jewish community due to their views on mysticism.’



For more on Royal Doulton please visit

Royal Doulton Biscuit Barrels


Biscuit barrels were manufactured in a grand scale at both Lambeth and Burslem.  Renowned artists, such as Frank Butler, and Hannah Barlow, and her sister, Florence, worked on the biscuit barrels.  Hannah Barlow worked on incised cattle, sheep, horses or goats heightened with staining.  While Florence Barlow focused on pate-sure-pate painting, whereby layers of pigment are enhanced with the use of brush strokes; often used for the depiction of birds.  Frank Butler applied beading and incised foliage scrolling to panels and later adopted an Art Nouveau style.

Earthenware biscuit barrels were made in all shapes and sizes at the Burslem factory and in using various techniques. Twin handled (known as ‘Margot’ to the trade) series ware biscuit barrels depicting Dickens characters.  Even biscuit caskets made to resemble chests of drawers and depicting nursery rhymes commissioned by Huntley & Palmer (after 1903) were manufactured by Royal Doulton.

For more Royal Doulton visit

What is My Royal Doulton Figurine Worth?

royal doulton - votes for women “What is my Royal Doulton figurine worth?”  To answer that question we need to be aware that there are at least three standards of value.  The first standard and easiest to understand, is the “Book Standard”.  When valuing Royal Doulton figurines, the book standard refers primarily to the Charlton Catalogue.  While other guides are available, the Charlton Catalogue provides precise information along with a visual guide as to what the figurine should actually look like.  Available at all good book stores, the Charlton Catalogue lists each HN figurine by number, along size, artist and having a full description along with the quoted value dollar amount.  While the book is a great reference, actual sales of the figurines rarely make the dollar amount quoted in the book.  Usually people will quote the value listed in the book, but will ask for less than that amount.  The second type of value is the “Secondary Market”.  This refers to sales of previously owned pieces.  The sale could come from an individual, a retail, antique, or collectible shop, or from private auction, eBay or other on-line auction sites.  The amounts realized at these sales are a much more accurate expression of value, but will vary greatly depending upon which avenue was used to sell them.  Retail stores and antique and collectible shops sales will generally be higher than on-line or private auctions.  Other factors that will determine sale price are condition, design and rarity.  Many people point to eBay to ascertain value, however here too pricing is dependent upon many factors.  Factors that will influence pricing will include the number of like items for sale at the same time, (availability), age of the figurine, (backstamp), and how many people were looking for that particular figurine at that precise time it was being offered, (demand).  The last standard of value to be noted is the Sentimental Value.  Hard to put an actual dollar and cent amount to this because it can include factors like the figurine is identical to the one my Mother had on her dressing table, or the figurine is named after my Gran, or because your Sister or relative always loved that figurine.  If this is the value you have, then my advice is that you pay whatever you feel it is worth and don’t bother to consider what other people think or purchase at.

Finally, we need to consider what makes one figurine more valuable than another, and again there are many factors to consider.  The main factors are Age, (when the figurine was actually produced), Size, (height and width of the figurine), Amount of design, (How difficult was the figure to make and how intricate the detail), Artist, (Some moulders were more prolific than others), Rarity, (How many pieces are available and/or how long the figurines were produced), and of course Demand, (How much does the public want the particular figure).  The stand-out case is that of Old Balloon Seller HN1315.  This figurine has been made since 1929 and is more than likely the best known Royal Doulton figure, yet even with so many pieces available, this piece maintains its value.

At the end of the day it boils down to the following:

If you are seeking a piece for your collection or for long term value, then select a popular, limited edition piece at the maximum you can afford, and it will grow in value.  If you are looking to add a piece because it has sentimental value, then set a price you can afford and purchase the piece without care to what others are paying.  If you are looking to sell your Royal Doulton figurine, then take the highest quality pictures you can, combine it with an informative description, be sure to include a clear picture of the backstamp, and list for a reasonable amount.

John Falstaff (2)

For more on Royal Doulton visit

How A Royal Doulton Character Jug Is Made

Each Royal Doulton character jug begins its journey in the creative mind and on the sketch pad of the sculptor who then proceeds to bring his character to life in the form of a clay model.  Once the clay model meets the extremely high Royal Doulton standards, the master mould maker’s expertise are then called upon to create a master mould from plaster of Paris.  This is a highly specialised process that has to capture every nuance and all the character of the original clay model.  From the master mould a working case is made and it is from this that all future moulds are produced.  In order to ensure accurate reproduction of the sculptors original creation, each mould is used only a small number of times.

A liquid mixture of clay and other finely ground ingredients prepared to ‘Royal Doulton’s own formulation is poured into the working mould, once the mixture is set to the correct thickness it is carefully removed from the mould.

Each character jug is then left to dry thoroughly in controlled temperatures before receiving its first firing – at temperatures up to 1150 degrees Celsius.

Skilled artists then take over and hand-paint each character jug with Royal Doulton’s own specially developed ceramic colours to give each character jug an individual quality, the jug is then fired once again.

The character jug is then dipped in a specially developed liquid glaze and fired for a third time to create a permanent transparent coating that protects the colours and gives the character jug the unmistakable Royal Doulton luster.


For more on Royal Doulton visit

Royal Doulton Bunnykins

Collecting Royal Doulton Bunnykins is a thriving hobby, with approximately 400 figures to find,  fluctuating from the common to dinky editions.  At any given moment there are over 1000 Bunnykins figures for sale on eBay with the rarest figures commanding high prices.

Originally six figures were produced in 1939, with production ceasing during World War 2. These six primary figures are very rare and cost between £500 and £2000. The six primary figures are “Billy”, “Mary”, “Farmer”, “Mother”, “Freddie”, and “Reggie”. Of these “Mary” turns up on eBay the most, one recently selling for £681. Less common figures sell for more, with “Reggie” recently achieving £1500 on eBay.

Reggie  BunnykinsBilly BunnykinsMary Bunnykins

After the war production was not resumed until Royal Doulton purchased the Beswick factory where the first of the modern figures were produced in 1972. This range of figures is labelled “Db” and now numbers over 400 figures, varying in rarity and value.  Many dinky editions have been produced, most notably, Happy Millennium Bunnykins Tableau, of which only two have been produced one is in the Royal Doulton Museum and the other sold at auction in 2000 for £9,800.

eBay has driven prices of Royal Doulton Bunnykins down, and eBay auctions for common Bunnykins rarely reach more than half the sell price or book value.  However, the dinky editions continue to hold their value well especially the dinky editions with low issue numbers.  For example, the Bunnykins Oompah Band, has been issued three times. The first, the red version, was issued between 1984 and 1990 and sell for £40-45 per figure on eBay. The second edition, the blue version, was produced in a dinky edition of 250, and sells for £200-300 per figure.  Interestingly the 3rd, the green version was also produced in a dinky edition of 250, as yet not seen on eBay by myself.

As well as dinky versions, prototypes and one off variations occasionally find their way onto the market. Genuine examples command high prices on eBay, recently a prototype of Father Bunnykins, which normally sells for £15-£20, sold for £700.

Royal Doulton Bunnykins are great to collect and whilst the prices are low they are a good investment.

For more on Royal Doulton visit

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.

For more on Royal Doulton visit