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


Pied Piper – My Royal Doulton Character Jug For September 2013

Pied Piper Prototype

The Pied Piper was one of the very first Royal Doulton character jugs I purchased on an on-line auction, the main attraction for me was firstly his character filled face and secondly the pipe and rats handle.  I mean just look at that face, granted, I’m not sure that I would have followed him into the great unknown as a child, but as an adult, I find his character filled face very intriguing.

This Royal Doulton character jug was designed by Geoff Blower and was issued in 3 sizes:

– D6403   Large   1954 – 1981

– D6462   Small   1957 – 1981

– D6514   Mini   1960 – 1981

The original prototype was modelled with only 1 rat on the handle and in a different colourway, as above, but was adapted to the more familiar version featured below:

Pied Piper 1

A poem by Robert Browning, The Pied Piper Of Hamelin is based on an old legend from a town in Brunswick.  The town is crawling with rats, and the mayor and city elders decide to enlist the services of a stranger to rid them of the vermin for a fee of one thousand guilders.  The stranger earns his fee by playing his pipe so beautifully that the rats follow the music and drown in the River Weser.  The piper’s fee however goes unpaid, so the strange piper plays again, but this time all the children of the town are enchanted by his beautiful music and they follow him never to be seen again.

Pied Piper 2

For more on Royal Doulton please visit

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

McCallum, My Lucky Royal Doulton Find – What Is Yours?

The McCallum Character JugAs a very keen Royal Doulton character jug collector, I have spent too many hours to mention reading everything and anything to do with the subject.   And like every other addicted collector, spend many, many, many hours checking various on-line auctions, local auction houses, charity shops, on-line classifieds, fairs – everywhere and anywhere in fact, in search of that ‘little gem’  to add to my collection.

I am tempted to start the story of how I came to own the Royal Doulton McCallum character jug with the famous ‘picture the scene’, because it really was one of those moments in my collecting life.

Working for myself allows me the luxury of dividing my day up into segments so I can focus equally on all the various things I need to get done on any given day.  So once the emails have been checked and responded to, I move onto my ‘search segment’, which in a nutshell is me looking at various on-line sites that sell vintage Royal Doulton pieces.  It was while doing one of these searches that I came across an item advertised as ‘Royal Doulton Jug “Them Callum”, with a very strange looking thumbnail image alongside the text.  I was instantly intrigued and decided to have a closer look at the other images posted, the closer I looked the more noise the penny made as it dropped.  Unless my eyes were deceiving me, this was the very rare large McCallum character jug made by Royal Doulton for D. & J. McCallum Distillers of Edinburgh, Scotland, that I had read about in Jocelyn Lukins’s, Collecting Royal Doulton Character & Toby Jugs.  

To quote from the book:

 ‘1000 – 1500 copies in Kingsware Glaze c. 1910.  A white version by Royal Doulton exists made from a slightly different mould…’

So I had established that this was indeed the white version of Royal Doulton’s McCallum and although the condition of the jug was not perfect, it was still a very rare item of porcelain that had very likely spent many of it’s 100 years surviving the less than careful sober wear and tear that goes along with being a water jug standing on the bar of the local pub.  Even with the damage, the very low starting bid on the jug lead me to believe that the seller wasn’t aware of just how rare this jug is.  The auction had a week to run and I noticed the jug had had no bids yet, which is not that unusual, some bidders like to wait until an item is about to close to place their bids and so a mad flourish of bids at the close of an auction is often par for the course with on-line auctions.  I of course was much too excited to hold back, I immediately typed in my opening bid and set my limit, checking in daily and often hourly to see if I had been outbid and also on how many people had viewed the jug.  Hoping that it hadn’t caught the attention of any of the serious collectors with much bigger budgets than I have – needless to say, it was a very long week!  But at the end of it all, I was the only bidder and was lucky enough to purchase the much sought after white version McCallum by Royal Doulton at the starting bid amount that was well within even my measly budget.  To say I was thrilled when the auction eventually closed would without a shadow of a doubt be the understatement of the century!!!!!

Although the only jug in my collection with damage and also the plainest least decorated, the McCallum stands out in terms of its age and rarity.  And personally I have to admit that I have no intention of restoring the McCallum to its straight out of the Doulton factory perfection as I believe its imperfections are part of its story and that for now this McCallum story ends with me makes the jug perfect to me.

For more on Royal Doulton please visit

Johnny Appleseed – My Royal Doulton Character Jug Of The Month – June 2013

Johnny Appleseed

Royal Doulton Character Jug – Johnny Appleseed – D6372
Designed by Harry Fenton
Issued from 1953 – 1969


The Legend Of Johnny Appleseed from Wikipedia:

Johnny Appleseed was born John Chapman in Leominster, Massachusetts in 1774.  He was was an American pioneer nurseryman who introduced apple trees to large parts of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois, including the northern counties of present day West Virginia. He became an American folk hero while still alive, due to his kindhearted, generous ways, his leadership in conservation, and the symbolic importance he attributed to apples. He was also a missionary for The New Church (Swedenborgian).

The popular image is of Johnny Appleseed randomly spreading apple seeds everywhere he went. In fact, he planted nurseries rather than orchards, erected fences around them to protect them from livestock, left the nurseries in the care of a neighbour who sold trees on shares, and returned every year or two to tend the nursery. Although apples grown from seed are rarely sweet or tasty, apple orchards with sour apples were popular among the settlers because apples were mostly used for producing hard cider and apple jack.  In some periods of the settlement of the Midwest, settlers were required by law to plant orchards of apples and pears in order to uphold the right to the claimed land.  So Johnny Appleseed planted orchards that made for popular real estate on the frontier.  His first nursery was planted on the bank of Brokenstraw Creek, South of Warren, Pennsylvania. Next, he seems to have moved to Venango County along the shore of French Creek, but many of these nurseries were located in the Mohican area of north-central Ohio. This area included the towns of Mansfield, Lucas, Perrysville, and Loudonville.


The First Royal Doulton Character Jug Modelled On An Actual Person – John Peel

John Peel was the first person to be immortalised in the form of a Royal Doulton character jug.  Designed by Harry Fenton, issued in 4 sizes from 1936 to 1960.

John Peel was a famous huntsman who for 40 years hunted with a pack of hounds on the fells of Cumbria in North-East England, as the slopes were too steep for horses, the hunt was often carried out on foot.  John Peel enjoyed a drink and each kill was celebrated by the hunting party at the nearest hostelry.

John Peel 1

 There was also a song written by John Graves about the famous huntsman:

‘D’ye ken John Peel with his coat so grey?

D’ye ken John Peel at the break of day?

D’ye ken John Peel when he’s far, far away

With his hounds and his horn in the morning?’

John Peel 2

 It is also believed that this is how the Police earned the nickname ‘The Peelers’

It seems that based on the song, John Peel’s coat was grey so it’s a bit of a mystery as to why Harry Fenton chose to portray him in a red coat . . .

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