One of England's most iconic brands, Royal Doulton china, is famous worldwide for luxury and elegant tableware, coupled with precision and artistry in collectables and giftware. Throughout history, Royal Doulton has been famed for the production of plates, bowls, cups and dishes as well as for figurines, character jugs, crystal and cutlery.
We have over 800 discontinued Royal Doulton china patterns listed – many of which would have been produced between the 1960s and 1990s, where the company produced some of their most iconic modern work.
The range these days is much smaller with a focus on modern living with clean shapes and contemporary design; Pacific, for example, was launched in 2015 and is already a classic. Collaborations have also been very successful for the brand, working with the likes of Gordon Ramsay, and Ellen DeGeneres.
A Brief History of Royal Doulton China
The Doulton family, however, started life rather more humbly, taking advantage of the revolution in sanitation during the Victorian period. John Doulton, along with his son Henry, established the world's first stoneware factory, producing pipes, which went on to become England's top manufacturer of sanitary ware.
Expansion soon followed, with the launch of Lambeth Studio, using local designers and artists, they experimented with a variety of materials and glazes to produce highly desirable ornamental ware. Since its inception in 1815 as Doulton & Watts, this company has been a leading English china manufacturer. From 1853 to 1902 the manufacturer traded as Doulton & Co, when Royal Doulton was born following a royal warrant being granted, signifying the companies prestige and allowing it to create royal pieces such as memorabilia and its serveware to be preferred in royal households.
In 1877 Henry Doulton purchased a Nile Street Factory in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent and within five years the company had revolutionised the industry and were producing the most exquisite bone china tableware. In 1901 Doulton's was awarded the Royal Warrant by the new king, Edward VII. In honour, the company adopted a new logo, the British Lion and a new name – ‘Royal Doulton’.
Innovation was vital to the continued success of Royal Doulton; whether it be cutlery, lady figurines introduced in 1913 or Bunnykins in 1934, they managed to stay ahead with an inspirational design team, pioneered by legendary figures like Charles Noke and John Slater. The latter of which steered the creative direction of the company by allowing his designers complete expressive freedom in whichever form of ceramics they wished to pursue. By the 1960's Royal Doulton was a powerhouse, shipping tableware worldwide, in a wide array of materials and styles, commanding awe and respect from customers and competitors alike.
In the 1970's the company was involved in many mergers to create the Royal Doulton Group, including the acquisitions of Royal Albert, Minton and Royal Crown Derby. Royal Doulton china sets were not only a part of this companies expertise, with this famous British brand having a stake in the creation of many architechtural masterpieces, such as fountains, churches and both public and private buildings. The Royal Doulton name has operated under the supervision of Fiskars since being purchased in 2015, 200 years after its humble begginings. Fiskars, a Finnish pottery manufacturer established in 1649, has kept the traditions of Royal Doulton alive, and their combined masterwork china sets share a bright future and distinguished heritage.
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