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Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011


The Doulton & Co Ltd earthenware and bone china tableware produced at the Nile St, Burslem, factory from 1882 to 2005 is appreciated for its artistic qualities and is widely collected.

Ascertaining the date of production of a piece is integral to its collectability and marketability and can be achieved in a number of ways. The form and style of decoration give a first clue to the age of a domestic ceramic, but the Doulton marks and various other dating conventions usually allow a more accurate date to be placed on a particular piece.

Caution is necessary, however as can be appreciated in the example below.

Even taking into account sometimes conflicting information, relatively accurate dating can be achieved with attention to the following clues:

No piece will have all of these clues, but one or more will usually be present

This is Doulton’s ‘Pansy’ earthenware pattern D4049.

On this particular piece there are three items of date information - the  Registered Design number, the pattern number and the Doulton backstamp.

In this case the Doulton mark is the best guide to the date of manufacture - the period from 1923-1928.

Doulton Pansy (D4049)
Doulton mark (D4049)

Can you add further information to this article?

More accurate dates can only be found by analysis of marks that have unambiguous date information such as date numerals, date cyphers or pattern numbers and names. Please email me. Any material used will be fully acknowledged.

©Michael Perry 2011