Royal Doulton Identification

By Anne Rose
Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of liz west

Royal Doulton is a centuries-old British manufacturer of stoneware, china dishware and figurines. Royal Doulton stamped pieces with identifying marks and symbols that provide collectors with important information about origin, age and value.

History

Royal Doulton was started in 1815 with a factory in London, England, by partners John Doulton, John Watts and Martha Jones. The factory produced stoneware, decorative bottles and sewer pipes. The company became "Doulton" in 1853. With his son Henry, John Doulton established the factory as a manufacturer of fine English stoneware.

Identification

Royal Doulton, like other brands of pottery, china and porcelain, can be identified by a backstamp. Backstamps, also called basestamps, are the name, signature or other identifying mark usually found on the bottom of a piece. Royal Doulton is identified by a variety of documented backstamps, most of which include some combination of interlocking D's and the words "Doulton" or "Royal Doulton."

Royal Doulton Backmarks

Very early pieces of Royal Doulton may have backmarks reading "Pinder Bourne & Co" or the initials P.B. or P.B. & CO. Other backmarks on early Royal Doulton may incorporate pattern names, like Rouen or Kew. Backmarks reading "Doulton" have been used since 1902. Later "Royal Doulton" was the backstamp.

Dating

Specific dating of many Royal Doulton pieces is difficult because, other than changing wording, there was no systematic coding for date marks. Royal Doulton figurines can often be dated by adding 27 to the very small number found just right of the Doulton backstamp.

Significance

For the collector, Royal Doulton backstamps are interesting to research because it is very unusual to find an unmarked piece. The Royal Doulton company is proud of its royal warrant, which was bestowed in 1901. A "Royal Warrant" is a stamp of quality and excellence, and is bestowed upon companies that are regular suppliers of the British Royal family.