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Collecting Doulton Pottery.

Pair of Royal Doulton vases
John Doulton (1794-1873) co-founded the Doulton & Watts pottery in 1815 in Lambeth, the year of the Battle of Waterloo.

This was the company that eventually grew into Royal Doulton. As John Doulton Jnr. died before his father, the company passed to his second son Henry (later Sir Henry) who was knighted by Queen Victoria in 1882. Initially the company was one of many potteries in Lambeth and made all types of pottery (inc. beer bottles for Whitbread where the young Charles Dickens stuck labels on them).

In the Doulton & Watts partnership it was John Doulton, the younger partner, who developed the pottery while Watts was the businessman. John Doulton eventually bought out Watts' widow in 1850 and worked with his sons and other relatives.

The company grew rapidly in the sanitation of London by perfecting new techniques for the production of sewer pipes, creating flexible seals, encouraging standardisation, and investing in manufacturing facilities. This lead to Doulton supplying sewers to most of the United Kingdom along with most of the Commonwealth.

The Doulton pottery soon had expanded to incorporate the other local potteries. The revenues from the sewer pipes and other sanitary ware allowed the company to experiment and invest in the fine china. It opened an industrial art college where many fine pottery artists were first given their chance. This vision and long term strategy paid off in creating the reputation of being the finest china manufacturer in the world. In 1901 King Edward VII conferred on the company the double honour of the royal warrant and the specific - as opposed to the assumed - right to use the title "Royal". The success of their sanitary ware business enabled Henry Doulton to attempt more artistic interests. In 1867 he employed,George Tinworth to establish an art pottery in Lambeth. Tinworth's work achieved great public attention and the firm grew substantially to employ 300 men by the 1880s.
Pair of Doulton vases

Royal Doulton figurines were first launched in 1913 when a figure modelled by Charles Vyse was named by Queen Mary during a visit to the factory as "Darling". Since this date over 3000 different figures have been produced in variety of subjects from the traditional ladies to clowns and wizards. Charles Noke was the man behind revitalising the Staffordshire figure modelling tradition in the 1890s. However, the early models met with limited success. Today, Royal Doulton figurines are famous the world over continuing the excellent work first started by George Tinworth.

There is an International Collectors Club which Royal Doulton enthusiasts can join. Membership benefits include a complimentary joining gift, a quarterly magazine 'Gallery' containing news, features and product information; invitations to special events; and the opportunity to buy exclusive club figurines. Members are also entitled to consult a free historical enquiry service.

It is possible to tour the Royal Doulton Factory at Burslem near Stoke-on-Trent, England. Tours are available Monday-Thursday and commence at 10.30am and 2.00pm. They last about one and half hours and due to stairs are not suitable for the elderly or disabled. There is also a free Museum 'The Sir Henry Doulton Gallery', and a Factory Shop.

For more information about tours, contact: UK 01782 292443 or 01782 292292.

Royal Doulton Factory, Museum and Shop, Nile Street, Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST6 2AJ.

Additional information and how to join clubs on

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Porcelain and Ceramic Repair by David Battams,Workshop Tel 07956832375 (Buckinghamshire) Email

Founded in 1971 by Ed Pascoe, Pascoe & Company has since grown into the leading dealer of current and retired Royal Doulton collectibles in the world.