Virtually all Doulton tableware has a black printed Doulton ‘mark’ or ‘backstamp’
applied to the underside of the piece. The mark was varied from time to time and
the table below includes the major marks that appear on tableware manufactured at
the Doulton (Burslem) factory (Series Ware and the Lambeth Stonewares often have
The Doulton tableware marks are below the glaze (as is the decoration in most cases).
It could thus have been applied at any time between the first, biscuit, firing of
the ware and the final step of application of the glaze. Most probably the mark was
applied at the time of decoration when each piece would have been handled individually
to apply the painted or transfer printed pattern. Specific information is lacking
on this point.
1901-1922 (and 1927-c. 1936)
This is the ‘standard’ Doulton mark on Burslem earthenware and bone china used from
1901 to 1922 and from 1928 to c. 1936.
The well recognised ‘standard’ Doulton mark or backstamp is that including the ‘lion,
crown and roundel’ introduced in 1901 and used in various forms to the 1990s. From
1901 to 1922 the standard mark appears with the words ‘Royal Doulton’ and ‘England’.
The new mark and use of the name ‘Royal Doulton’ as opposed to ‘Doulton’ signify
the grant of a Royal Warrant to Henry Doulton by King Edward VII in 1901.
From 1922 or 1923 until the end ( presumably) of 1927 tableware appears bearing a
mark that lacks the traditional crown. The reason for the introduction and use of
this new mark is not known although it may have been nothing more complex than the
need for a smaller mark to fit smaller wares. The mark appears not to have been used
exclusively as there are examples of the earlier ‘standard’ Doulton mark that can
be unambiguously dated to the same period.
1927 - c.1936
The earlier ‘standard’ mark with lion, crown and Doulton roundel was ‘reintroduced’
from 1928, but was supplemented by a date number related to the year of production.
A prominent ‘1’ signifies 1928 and the numbering continue to ‘30’ in 1957. The simple
rule is that adding 1927 to the number give the year of production. This second use
of the ‘standard’ mark is believed to have continued until about 1936.
C.1930 - c.2000
In about 1930 a new form of the ‘standard’ Doulton mark was introduced bearing the
words ‘Made in England ‘ above the Royal Doulton name and, in various forms, this
mark was used until recent times. The date numbers referred to above also accompany
this mark and for the period from about 1930 to 1936 examples of both marks can be
A totally new Doulton mark of a lion’s head has been used on current-day Doulton
tableware. Its date of introduction is uncertain, but may be as late as 1993 when
the Pearson Group floated Royal Doulton plc as an independent company.
Between 1882 and 1901 various Pinder, Bourne & Co. and Doulton marks appear on the
earthenware and bone china (from c. 1884) produced at the Niles St factory. The most
common Doulton mark is circular with the central four interlocking ‘D’ symbols that
continued in later marks.
A similar device with a crown above, was used from 1886 to mark the appointment of
Doulton as potters to His Royal Highness the Prince of Wales (later King Edward
VII, following the death of Queen Victoria in 1901.
The word ‘England’ may appear below both of these marks from 1891 to 1901