Sunday - 07 February 2016

Hats off to Drake

07 July 2012Written by Roland Arkell

Flick through the pages of an issue of ATG in the 1980s and there are many references to the rising market for Royal Doulton character jugs.

In 1985, for example, several examples of The Hatless Drake appeared for sale, topping out at £3200 for that sold by Abridge Auctions, Essex.

Abridge Auctions are no longer with us and neither are such stratospheric sums.

The Hatless Drake, which has the words Drake he was a Devon man printed in relief across its subject's shoulders, was made in only limited numbers in the early years of the Second World War and remains among the rarest of the production run of Doulton 'tobys', but it is an indication of where the market is now that another was sold by Lincolnshire auctioneers Golding Young & Mawer (17.5% buyer's premium) on June 20 for £1400.

Nevertheless, it is a great deal more than the later Sir Francis Drake design (one in which he wears a hat) might bring today: probably no more than £30 at auction.

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