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The Rural England school of series, as defined by Louise Irvine, is a group of 29 series depicting English Rural life in an old world setting. Of course these depictions are extremely quaint and romantic. The earliest of the Rural England series is “Illustrated Proverb” (pattern D1784), which was introduced in 1903, and “Plough Horse Silhouette” (pattern D2552) which was introduced in 1906. The last of the Rural England series to be conceived where the “Summertime In England” Series (D6131), which was introduced in 1941, and the “Market Day B” series which according to Louise Irvine appears in the 1954 pattern book. To date I have never seen an example of this series.

R.D. Gleaners & Gipsies PDF Print E-mail
 Royal Doulton’s the Gleaners and Gipsies series was designed by a S. Wilson. This very popular series was in introduced in 1909 and it was production for a long time and has at least 12 pattern number issued against it. The Gleaners and Gipsies series was extended and evolved until 1937 and it had been withdrawn from production by 1937. This is another one of the series that was obviously supposed to be a romantic, but I am sure there was nothing romantic about the life of an itinerant farm laborer. To date, 26 scenes have been identified that are unique to this series and there are at least three minor colour-way veriations.
R.D. Bluebell Gatherers PDF Print E-mail


Royal Doulton introduced the Bluebell Gatherers series in 1914 and it was in production until 1928. Bluebell Gatherers is a collection of twelve scenes that depict a lady in a sun dappled glade collecting bluebells. In five of the scenes the Woman is accompanied by a young child which suggests that she is the wife of a peasant. The border is birds in trees flushed by orange airbrushing.

Royal Doulton Bluebell Gatherers Border 

The scenes are very easy on the eye, in soft summer tones, they were a romanticized vision of an era long gone even in 1914. This is a beautiful series and with only 14 years of production it is hard to find and very sought after when it does come on the market. For the pattern numbers and to see the verious scenes and shapes.

R.D. Ploughing PDF Print E-mail

  Royal Doulton Ploughing Series

The Royal Doulton Ploughing series was introduced in 1915 and it had been withdrawn by 1949. It is not recorded who designed this classic from the Rural England school of series. I have always had an affinity for this particular series. It reminds me of my father; Pat was born in 1919 in the back blocks of New Zealand and I was reared on my fathers stories of the years during the depression that he spent on the back of stock horses or working horse teams. I remember going down the farm with my mother to where dad was working the paddocks and having picnic as the sun set. Dad always wore a old hat similar to the men depicted in Ploughing scenes; he used to use an old neck tie as a belt. This was in the 1960’s and Dad did his work with a tractor, but I guess the lessons of the depression where not easily forgotten.

R.D. English Cottages PDF Print E-mail
Royal Doulton English Cottages Series
Royal Doulton introduced the series know as English Cottages A in 1924 and it was in production up until circa 1942. English Cottages A is in fact two series. The first of these series I will call English Cottages Evening, to date all the examples of this series that I have seen have the pattern number D4390 which was introduced into production in 1924. The second pattern is English Cottages Morning; this pattern has the pattern number D4987. This pattern was introduced in 1929.
R.D. Romany PDF Print E-mail

Royal Doulton Romany Series

Royal Doulton intorduced the Romany series in 1930 and it was withdrawn from production in the early 1940’s. The Romany, or Gypsies as they are more commonly known, seems to me to be a strange choice of subject for the Doulton artist to depict. They are an ethnic minority that for generations have had a tough lot all across Europe, hardly what you would think would appeal to the well healed home maker during the heart of the great depression. Of course there has always been romantic literary tradition of the naive village girl falling for the dark Traveller and running off to an idyllic life on the road in the arms of her lover, much to the horror of the families of course. I guess it was this romantic appeal that Doulton where trying to capitalize on. Romany is quite a rare series, but it always sells. The colours are great and the characters I find very appealing in their Edwardian cloths and the fanciful Caravans.
R.D. Country Garden PDF Print E-mail


Country Garden is a quintessentially cottage garden populated with the farm folk of a bygone era. The garden is flushed with the full colours’ of early summer; it is wholesome and so vibrant. Royal Doulton introduced the Country Garden series in 1929. The exact date of its withdrawal is unknown, but I believe it must have been before 1942, as to date I have not seen an example with a maker’s mark dating after this time.

R.D. Cotswold Shepherd PDF Print E-mail
Royal Doulton Cotswold Shepherd Series
The Cotswold Shepherd series was introduced into production in 1933 and it was withdrawn in the early 1950’s. There is only one pattern number set against this series: D5561. It has always been a very popular and it has always seemed to be in short supply. There are 20 scenes in the Cotswold Shepherd. I am still missing many of the scenes from this series, so if you can help full any gaps please email me any photos you have.