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Royal Doulton
Guide to Marks and Dating
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Royal Doulton

Note: The information provided here specifically addresses dating Doulton items other than their popular figurines and character jugs. These latter two lines typically have copyrights or series numbers that permit fairly accurate dating of these pieces as well as reference books that often identify their years of manufacture. The dating of other Doulton pieces (e.g., match strikers, vases) is problematic, because comparable information is unavailable. 

It is impossible to accurately date many pieces made by (Royal) Doulton. This is because the factory used no systematic marking system to indicate the year of manufacture for many of their items (Royal Doulton figurines and character jugs are omitted here.). The best estimate of manufacturing year is by 'period,' and even this is only possible with certain marks used by the Doulton factory. The most obvious indicator of earlier or later manufacture is the change from the name "Doulton" to "Royal Doulton" impressed or imprinted on their pieces -- the Royal Warrant of Appointment was issued in 1901 and the name "Royal Doulton" was first used in 1902. However, some figurines continued to be produced without the word "Royal" added before the Doulton name (e.g., "Potted by Doulton & Co."), so even this convention has notable exceptions.

Except for the "Doulton" (sans "Royal") mark that dates most pieces prior to 1902 (see above), only items impressed with marks used for limited periods can be approximately dated, and then only by general period when the mark was in use. Below are some of the Doulton marks used for limited periods and additional notes helpful for dating these pieces.

1902 and later
1891 and later
1930 and later (with exceptions)

"Royal Doulton"
"Made in England"







c. 1960-present

The difference between this and the 1902-1956 mark is noted in the lion and in the length of the lines between "Royal Doulton" and "England."




About this Page

It seems that everybody is selling something on the Internet and few sites provide any free information about antiques and collectibles. Well, we sell things too but we also provide some free information about the items we sell and collect. This page is designed to provide a quick reference for the experienced collector in identifying and dating some items. It is not intended to be a definitive guide but only a quick reference (This information should not be used as a buying or selling guide.). The information provided is accurate to the best of our knowledge; however, the user should consult the standard reference sources for confirmation of this information -- we assume no liability for the information provided herein. Indeed, the references we consult often conflict in identifying and dating items.

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Last revised: 18 February 2009 21:05 EDT
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