The attractions of variations from run-of-the-mill ceramics extends to all factories, and the recent sale of a Royal Doulton 'Nelson' jug showed how the presence of a rare backstamp mark can increase the value of an item 100 times over.
With a production run from 1952 to
1969, the first of Royal Doulton's Nelson character
jugs is not hard to find in its standard issue form. Something
between £50 and £100 is the norm.
However, for a short period, just
three years into the run, the backstamp changed to mark a rather
Instead of the issue number D6336,
it reads Commemorating the 150th Anniversary of the Battle of
Trafalgar 21st October 1955 followed by First Sea
Lord and a central medallion with a painted chain of
This turns a £50 jug into a £5400
jug, the sum bid for the example seen at Louis
Taylor of Stoke-on-Trent on June 6-7. The estimate was
Above: The all-important commemorative
As a general rule the market is soft, but
acquiring something other collectors don't have continues to be an
expensive pastime for lovers of Royal Doulton character jugs.
Indeed, the standard issue of the large
Bonnie Prince Charlie jug, designed by Stanley J.
Taylor and produced as part of the Royalty series from 1990-94,
makes around £30-40 at auction.
However, an example of D6858 sold in the
same Louis Taylor sale carried the backstamp Design Original
Sample and Property of Royal Doulton and was in prototype
colours with a green and blue tartan (rather than red) coat.
Quite how the market will react to factory
colourways is always unpredictable: this one went just below hopes
The buyer's premium was 17.5%