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Royal Doulton Dickens Ware "A"

The Dickens Ware "A" series was designed by C.J. Noke with the assistance of William Grace, Walter Nunn, Leonard Langley and Harry Tittensor. The Charles Noke designed scenes often bear a facsimile of his signature which can cause them to sell for a premium. 

Charles Noke's Signature

 

Dating Dickens Ware

Often the date is impressed into the base, this is especially so for items where the base is a large flat expanse.  These are the techniques I employ to determine the production era when an item is not dated.

 

In the absence of an impressed date code the pattern number is a useful indication to the production era. There are 8 pattern numbers assigned to Dickens Ware:-

D.2973 was introduced in  1908

D.3020 “                         ” 1908
D.4030 “                         ” 1918
                  D.4069 “                         ” 1918                  
D.5175 “                         ” 1931
D.5862 “                         ” 1937
D.6327 “                         ” 1951

 

There is only one Bone China pattern number

E.8288 “                          ” 1913


If the item does not have a pattern number there is no need to disappear as the production era can be ascertained by the variation in the colour-way and minor variations in the actual Dickens Ware maker's mark. Most examples of this series are marked with the special Dickens Ware back stamp; the only time this mark is missing is when the item base is to small to fit the mark. Shown below are three examples of this mark, the first mark is taken from a bulb bowl with the number D.2973 (dates from 1908).

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This next mark comes off a Vase with the number D.5175. You will note it varies slightly from the first mark. This pattern number was introduced in 1931 so this mark dates from this time and I doubt if it was used after 1951.

 Royal Doulton Makers Mark 1951 to end of Production

The final mark (shown below) comes off a Mug with the pattern number D.6327. It also varies slightly from the other marks. This pattern number was introduced in 1951.

Royal Doulton Maker's Mark 1951 to end of production


The colour-way is a useful tool for determining an items production era. I have identified 3 distinct colour-ways. The first colour-way, which was in use during the 1908 to circa 1931 period, the second was in use from circa 1931 to 1951 and the third was in use from 1951 until the end of production which was in the late 1950’s. I have decided to list the 31 different characters that Doulton depicted by the novel in which they appear. My aim is to have as many of the colourways as posible.

 

The centenary of Charles Dickens birth was in 1912. In celebration of this occasion Royal Doulton, published the booklet “A Tribute In Pottery To The Genius Of Charles Dickens". This booklet covers 22 of the 31 characters that where depicted by Royal Doulton in the Dickens Ware series. I have included 22 quotes from this booklet.  For me they are an insight into the times and the thoughts of the people who conceived Dickens Ware.

 

Pickwick Papers

Charles Dickens wrote his first novel when he was in his mid twenties. “The Pickwick Papers” was first published in a serial format, between April 1836 and November 1837, as “The Posthumous Papers of the Pickwick Club”.  The novel is a lose collection of stories of various characters based around the Pickwick club. The eight characters depicted are:-

 

Mr Pickwick

  "Pickwick the immortal, the ever-young - and this despite his bald head and spectacles: despite his amplitude of waistcoat, his shorts and gaiters. Brimful of good nature is Mr Pickwick: a little stubborn at times, aye, intensely stubborm; yet with a romatic heart and a disposition positively overflowing with the milk of human kindness."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Pickwick - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Pickwick - 1932 to 1942 era 

1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Pickwick - 1950's era colour-way

1951 to late 1950's era colour-way

 

 

Tony Weller

  "Weller the elder, the typical coachman of a century agone. Stern mistruster of 'vidders'; staunch believer in the virtue and power of a 'haliby'; ruminative philosopher and Nemesis to the rum-soaked Stiggins."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Tony Weller - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware  Tony Weller -  1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Tony Weller - 1950's era

1951 to late 50's era colour-way

 

 

Sam Weller

 "Sam Weller, faithfullest of retainers. Full of quaint wisdom and epigran of Cockaigne. Calm amid the wildest tumult; undismayed facing the most extravagant odds; imperturbable when patronised by the most dignified of gentleman's gentleman."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Sam Weller - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Sam Weller - 1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Sam Weller - 1950's era colour-way

1951 to late 1959's era colour-way

 

 

Fat Boy

 "The Fat Boy still slumbers, despite the loudly renewed calls of Jolly Old Wardle: slumbers placidly and stolidly and in any position. The magic call of eatables or drinkables alone dispels the spirit of somnolency from his rotund form."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Fat Boy - 1908 to 1931 era 

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 Royal Doulton Rat Boy 1931 to 1931 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

Alfred Jingle

 "Alfred Jingle, Esquire, the seedy, the impudent, the unabashed: the philosophic citzen of the world, who is all things to all men and ever-ready, even over-ready, to help himself." 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Alfred Jingle - 1908 to 1931 era 

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Alfred Jingle - 1931 50 1951 era 

1931 to 1951 era colour-way  

 


Serjeant Buzfuz

 "Sergeant Buzfuz, the forensic bully, cozening or brow-beating intelligent juries as occasion serves: the legalised champion of broken-hearted widows: adored of solicitors, and constant recipient of highly-marked breifs."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Serjeant Buzfuz - 1931 to 1951 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way  

 

 

Mrs Bardel

 "Mra. Bardell, classic among widows, with semi-bashful thoughts of re-marriage and a rise in the social scale, but with no premonition of 'The Fleet.'" 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mrs Bardel - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way 

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mrs Bardell

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

I have included the above picture as it is a scarce veriation of the scene, normally Mrs Bardell appears in a courtroom

Mr Dodson

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Dobbson - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

 Martin Chuzzleewit

The Dickens novel Martin Chuzzleewith was first published as a serial during 1833 and 1834, it was originally called “The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzleewit.”

 

Mark Tapley

 "Mark Tapley, eccentric philosopher and matter-of-fact genius, sturdily bearing with him, even in his new-world wanderings, the scent of the English hedgerow and the breath of the Blue Dragon. Likewise a fixed determination to be jolly in any and every circumstance, or die."

 

There are two versions of Mark Tapley, in one he is holding his cane in his hand in the other it is under his arm.

Royal Doulton Mark Tapley version 1 - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mark Tapley - 1931 to 1951 era colour-way

Scene from tray date coded December 1937

1931 to 1952 era colour-way

 

This is the second version of Mark Tapley, it is the scarcer of the two versions. 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mark Tapley

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

Pecksniff

 Pecksniff, architect and hypocorite, with his santly manner and his sordid soul: with his treble-sized moral halo, and his unbounded relish for grovelling before the golden calf."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Pecksniff 

 

Tom Pinch

  Royal Doulton Tom Pinch 1908 era 

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Tom Pinch - 1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

 1931 to 1951 era colour-way  

 

 

Sairey Gamp

 "Mrs Gamp, nurse and midwife: Sairey of the moist eye turned upwards in moments of emotion: with her stern partialities regarding diet and her stringent rules concerning drink: with her tender solicitude for patients 'en posse',  and her spiritual communings with the invisible 'Mrs Harris.'"

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Sairy Gamp - 1908 to 1931 era  

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Sairy Gamp - 1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

 

 David Copperfield

Was published in 1850, it is Dickens first novel to be written in the first person and was written from the point of view of David Copperfield. This novel is autobiographical and was supposed to have been Dickens favorite work. 

 

Uriah Heep

 "Uriah Heep, red-hearted 'Ury': distilling the gospel of 'umbleness' at every pore, and fawning on hands that later shall feel his teeth."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Uriah Heep

 1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

Barkis

  "Barkis, the carrier, stolid of feature as of mind: Barkis, the slow and sure, and 'a it near,' who achieved immortality by simpy announcing the fact of his being "willin'."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Barkis - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Barkis - 1931 to 1941 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

 

Old Peggotty

 "Dan'l Peggotty, the sturdy Yarmouth boatman; prematurely aged and broken-hearted by the dishonour and flight of Little Em'ly, yet with a fine, simple faith in her ultimate recovery and redemption."

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Old Peggoty - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way 

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Old Peggotty - 1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way  

 

 

Mr Micawber

 "Micawber, the ever hopeful, the ever-confident, the ever-expectant of something in the turning-up line; with his portentous gentility and his infinite capacity for writing letters."

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Micawber - 1908 to 1931 era colour-way

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Mcawber - 1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Mcawber - 1931 to late 195o's era colour-way

1951 to late 1950's

Oliver Twist

Oliver Twist was published serially between 1837 and 1838. This is the most famous of Dickens novels; there have been countless films, plays and musicals made from this story.

 

Artful Dogger

 "Master John Dawkins, the Artful Dodger: prince of prigs and downiest of pick-pockets, with his snub-nose, his dirty face, and his loftily expressed contempt for 'beaks' and others set in authority over him."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Artful Dogger - 1908 to 1932 era colour-way

1908 to 1931 era colour-way 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Artful Dogger - 1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

1931 to 1951 era colour-way  

 date coded July 1937

 

Fagin

 "Fagin, the sordid, the vile. The trainer of youthful thieves, the crafty receiver of stolen property: behind whom hovers the black shadow of the gallows."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Fagon - 1908 to 1931 era

 1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Fagin 1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

 

 

Bill Sykes 

 "Bill Sikes, robber and housebreaker - he who has given a name to the burglar for all time. Fuffian and murderer, deviod of any one redeeming quality, yet loved by --- a woman, and a dog!"

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Bill Sykes - 1908 to 1931 era 

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

 

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1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

Nicholas Nickleby

Nocholas Nickleby was written by Dickens around July 1938 and was first published in a serial format during 1938 and 1939. 

Mr Squeers

 "Squeers, the illiterate schoolmaster: the brutal, bulling, ruffianly Squeers, with his solitary eye, his villainous expression, and  his 'fatherly' love for his unfortunate pupils at Dotheboys Hall, Yorkshire."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Squeers - 1908 to 1931 era colour-way

1908 to 1931 era colour-way 

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Squeers

1931 to 1951 era colour-way 

 

 

Newman Noggs


Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Newman Noggs

 

Mr Mantalini

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Mantalini

plate date coded November 1916

1908 to 1931 era colour-way 

Dombey and Son

Dombey and Son was first published serially between October 1846 & April 1848, it was originally called “Dealings with the Firm Dombey & Sons”.

Mr Toots

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Mr Toots

 

 

Cap'n Cuttle

 "Cap'n. Cuttle, mariner, simple of mind and rubicund of face, with a religous dread of terrible Mrs. MacStinger, and a profound veneration for the learning and genius of one, Sol. Gills. 'When found, make a note of.'"

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Cap't Cuttle - 1908 to 1932 era colour-way

1908 to 1951 era colour-way 

 

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Capt'n Cuttle - 1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way   


Bleak House

Bleak House was Dickens ninth novel; it was published in 20 monthly installments between March 1852 and September 1853.

 

Poor Jo

 "Poor Jo, the crossing sweeper, for ever moving on: sad victim of a social misarrangement which carefully tends the gentle hearthen abroad beneath a tropic sky, and coldly leaves a nursling of its own to squalid degradation and hopeless misery."

 

            Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Poor Jo - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way  

 

 Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Poor Jo - 1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

 

Mr Chadband

 Dickens Ware Mr Chadband

1908 to 1931 era colour-way



Old Curiosity Shop

The Old Curiosity Shop was published serially during 1840 and 1841.

 

Dick Swiveller

 "Dick Swiveller, thrice glorious Dick: with his financial troubles, his amatory weaknesses, and his inability to refrain from looking upon the wine when it is red - or rosy - within the cup."

 

Royal Doulton Dick Swiveller - 1908 to 1931 era 

1908 to 1931 era colour-way  

 
 
Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Dick Swivleller - 1931 to 1951 era

 1931 to 1951 era colour-way

 

 

 Little Nell

"Nell, little Nell, simple, courageous dream-child; crossing unsullied the mud-bespattered byways of darksome vagrancy."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Little Nell - 1908 to 1931 era 

1908 to 1931 era colour-way 

 

 

 
Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Little Nell - 1931 to 1951 era
 
1931 to 1951 era colour-way
 
 

The Chimes


The Chimes is a short novel first published 1844. It is the second of the five Christmas books that Dickens penned, it came out a year after “A Christmas Carol”. 

 

Trotty Veck

"Trotty Veck, the quaint little elderly ticket-porter: devout believer in the everlasting wisdom of The Chimes, and filled with a devout faith and reverence for his betters."

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Trotty Veck - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way  

 
 
 
Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Trotty Veck - 1931 to 1951 era
1932 to 1951 era colour-way
(dated coded January 1931)

Barnaby Rudge

Barnaby was published serially in weekly installments from Feb 1841 - Nov 1841. It was Dickens fifth novel and the first of the two historical novels that he penned.

 

Barnaby Rudge

"Poor Barnaby Rudge! surely the strangest and most distraught hero that ever figured in story. And Grip, the raven, joyous comrade of his mad adventures, with his 'Polly, put the kettle on,' and "I'm a devil, I'm a devil!"

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Barnaby Rudge - 1908 to 1931 era

1908 to 1931 era colour-way

 

Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Barnaby Rudge - 1931 to 1951 era

1931 to 1951 era colour-way
 
 
 

The Tale of Two Cities 

Dickens' twelfth novel and his second historical novel; it was first published in the weekly journal, “All the Year Round”, between April 1859 - November 1859. I just love the beginning of this novel; "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times".

  

Sydney Carton

"Stand forth, Sidney Carton! ci-devant Drunkard and loose-liver, redeemed by thine honest love for a pure girl and in such redemption proving that 'greater love hath no man than this, that he should lay down his life for a friend.'"

 
Royal Doulton Dickens Ware Sydney Carton - 1908 to 1931 era
 
1908 to 1931 era colour-way
The Oval Carver that  this scene was taken from was date coded September 1931