The dainty ladies in the figurine collection with their blowing skirts and ribbon bedecked bonnets show the skill of the master artists who worked on them. First introduced in 1913, this series is by no means limited to 'dainty ladies'. Bluebeard, Old King Cole, and Friar Tuck give a sample of this group's wide variety. Although many have been withdrawn from production, new figures are regularly introduced. Prices of the discontinued models are largely determined by rarity… supply and demand.
Character Jugs were introduced into the Royal Doulton line with John Barleycorn in 1934. Besides the traditional English characters from history and literature, the series now includes such diverse additions as Annie Oakley, W.C. Fields, and Ronald Reagan. The jugs are noted as large, medium, small, miniature and tiny, ranging from 1.5 to 8 inches in size. One may vary slightly from another of the same number due to shrinkage in the kiln. Since features were hand painted, they too will vary.
In 1900, Charles Noke, Doulton Art Director, introduced Series Ware. This included jugs, vases and plates adorned with scenes created from literary and historical events, as well as rural scenes from the past. King Arthur's knights, monks, country friars and coaching scenes were among the subjects covered in this interesting series, which was interrupted by WWII. A wide variety of colorful items can still be found by astute shoppers.
Unique among potters is the brilliant deep red glaze of Royal Doulton Flambé wares. These were first exhibited at the St. Louis Exposition in 1904 and were an immediate success. Vases, bowls, plaques, animals, and occasional figures can be found in flambé.
When shopping for Royal Doulton, you will find a current price guide a source of helpful information. They can only indicate price ranges, however, which may differ geographically [this is true of most areas of collecting]. Most important is condition, as broken or mended pieces generally cannot command book prices. So, shop around… and enjoy. by Marge O'Harra
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