Friday - 25 July 2014

Nelson touch propels Doulton character jug to £5400

27 June 2012Written by Roland Arkell

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 special anniversary.

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 office.

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 £3000-5000.

 

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Above: The all-important commemorative backstamp.

 

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 at £1450.

The buyer's premium was 17.5%

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