The History of Royal Doulton

Posted by Mike Eley on

Royal Doulton

Royal Doulton was a company widely known for creating some of the highest quality collectibles and tableware in the world. It was created in 1815 by John Doulton, Martha Jones and John Watts, and it was designed to primarily create luxury ceramics, at least in the beginning. But as time went by, the company expanded to create porcelain products, glassware, lighting, curtains, linens, jewelry, giftware, dinnerware, and many others.

The company started as a partnership between the three founders. However Martha Jones left the company in 1820. That’s when the first name change occurred, with the business being renamed to Doulton & Watts. Initially they had a factory at Vauxhall Walk in Lambeth, London. At that point in time, the company was making stoneware articles, as well as salt glaze sewer pipers and decorative bottles.

John Watts retired from this business in 1853, and that was the second time the company name changed. The new name was Doulton & Co. It was in 1871 when Henry, John’s son, launched a studio and he started encouraging artists to work for him. It was at that point when amazing designs started to appear on the Doulton products. Some of the famous artists that worked with Henry at that time were the Barlow family, George Tinworth, Mark Marshall and Frank Butler, among many others. 11 years later, Doulton purchased a factory named Pinder, Bourne and Co found in Burslem , Staffordshire. This was a great step for Doulton to expand in The Potteries region.

In 1887 Doulton created and also donated an amazing altarpiece for the Anglican St Alban’s Church. This piece was created with terracotta, and it had Tinworth designs on it too. Later in 1901, Edward VII awarded the Royal Warrant to the Burslem factory, so Doulton was able to acquire new markings. And that’s when the business name changed to Royal Doulton, the name it has today. It was at that time when they started adding more and more products, all the while creating extraordinary bone china products.

Royal Doulton Commemorative MugRoyal Doulton NorfolkRoyal Doulton VanboroughRoyal Doulton WestwoodRoyal Doulton Beatrix Potter

Unfortunately the original Lambeth factory had to close in 1956 because new regulations were not okay with salt glaze production in urban locations. That’s why most of the work was transferred to The Potteries. Friezes were transferred to the Victoria & Albert museum.

It was in 1971 when S Pearson & Son LTD purchased Doulton & Co. They merged operations into Doulton & Co. After that, all the Allied English Potteries and Doulton & Co LTD were put under the Royal Doulton umbrella. However in 2005 Waterford Wedgwood completed the Royal Doulton takeover, taking over all the brands and assets of the company. At the end of September that year, the Nile Street factory closed and Royal Doulton Ltd went into administration in 2009. Nowadays Royal Doulton is a part of WWRD Holdings Limited.

Royal Doulton "Gold Concord"Royal Doulton YorktownRoyal Doulton TapestryRoyal Doulton The CoppiceRoyal Doulton Will o the Wisp

Despite a very tumultuous history with lots of events, one thing still remains constant about Royal Doulton. The company has always created high standard collectibles and tableware. The outstanding value and attention to detail took the Royal Doulton brand to the next level, and even today this is one of the top brands in the industry!

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