Doulton can trace its ancestry back to 1815 with the founding
of a factory at Vauxhall Walk, Lambeth, London. John Doulton,
in partnership with Martha Jones and John Watts. The firm
specialized in making stoneware articles ranging from decorative
bottles to saltglaze sewer pipes.
Soon the company assumed the Doulton
name (1853) and John with his son, Henry, had established
themselves as makers of fine English stoneware, and using
the limited range of colours which that material permits,
produced a wide variety of decorative items for the more
affluent members of society.
It was during the early years of the reign of Queen Victoria
(1837-1901) that the great revolution in personal sanitation
occurred and Henry Doulton was at the forefront of domestic
and industrial stoneware products. This enabled Doulton
to became Britains leading manufacturer of sanitary ware
as well as a major influence and producer of artistic pottery
and commemorative, ornamental and tableware products.
examples of Lambeth Doulton and Royal Doulton marks.
In 1871 Henry established a studio at the Lambeth pottery
and offered work to designers and artists from a nearby
Art school. Several of these designers have come to represent
the best that Doulton had to offer. Names like the Barlow
family (Florence, Hannah and Arthur), Frank Butler, Mark
Marshall, Eliza Simmance and George Tinworth are commanding
increasingly higher prices. The Lambeth pottery ceased production
examples of very collectable Doulton figurines.
during this time of intense creativity and expansion that
Doulton came to the attention of the Royal Family. In 1882
Doulton acquired the small factory of Pinder, Bourne and
Co. at Nile Street, Burslem, Staffordshire, in the heart
of Bone China country. Henry soon discovered that as a Londoner
he wasn't welcome 'up North' and is ascribed with saying
"In their view, we Southerners know little about God and
nothing at all about potting".
In spite of this, and through the artistic direction of
John Slater, Doultonware grew ever more popular with its
tremendous variety of figurines, vases, character jugs and
decorative pieces, and in 1901, the factory was granted
the Royal Warrant by King Edward VII. This resulted in the
company adopting bold new markings and a new name, Royal
examples of quality Doulton pottery.
the wars, Royal Doulton became synonymous with the finest
English china throughout the world. Character Jugs, huge
quantities of figurines, Bunnykins dishes and plates, Flambe
Ware, Titanium Ware, Bone China have only added to the Doulton
name and reputation.
Since the war, as is inevitable with modern business methods,
production had to shift toward simpler designs which could
be mass-produced and at a much more affordable price. Even
so, Doulton haven't lost their flare for technical innovation
that allows for the use of cost effective yet high quality
production techniques for which they have always been famous.