Early Doulton

Sprigged jugs with impressed Doulton marks are very common and show little variation of sprig design from about 1870 until after WW2. What was being made before 1870?

The standard reference work, Desmond Eyle's "The Doulton Lambeth Wares", 1975 and new edition 2002 states after talking about flasks and spirit bottles, "the only other early Doulton products with any other artistic pretensions at all were relief figured hunting jugs and mugs of the traditional type".

Here we encounter a problem - the total absence of sprigged jugs marked Doulton & Watts. There is no shortage (albeit expensive) of Doulton & Watts marked spirit flasks, apostle pattern tobacco jars, Nelson, and Boar Hunt jugs. All salt glazed, very detailed but ALL MOULDED. There is no Doulton & Watts marked sprigged jug or tankard recorded by English Brown Stoneware (O.H. & H), Brown Muggs or Derek Askey. Doulton &Watts was the official name of the company until 1854 but the fact that the 1873 sales catalogue still shows that name indicates it may have continued to be used for a considerable time afterwards. We have no problem with post 1870 production as the great majority is marked.

There are, unmarked, jugs with variants of sprigs but definitely part of the main series. Some have been included in the "main series" section but how far back did this standard series go? Several unmarked but early dated items now indicate that the main series goes back at least to the late 1820s. Click on Early Dates button to see jars dated 1828, 1836 and 1845, and a jug dated 1842. All of the jars have the sprig of a smoker with small jug on the ground also used in conjunction with a variant of the standard Doulton handle terminal on jugs up to 1½ pints (click Variant terminal button to see comparison). There can be little doubt that this is a Doulton terminal as examples are also recorded with the first two Doulton marks. Jugs with hall marked silver tops indicate that the terminals changed around 1870. Apart from its use on these main series items this earlier terminal (which I have called POW because of the upper part's resemblance to The Prince of Wales Feathers) is also found on a VERY extensive series of jugs, mugs etc that MAY also be Doulton (& Watts). When I first created this web site I listed them as Doulton - Early Series. I will give them their own listing as "Doulton & Watts?"

Since this was first written, a sprigged tobacco jar has been recorded with an impressed Doulton & Watts mark. This reads LAMBETH POTTERY / DOULTON & WATTS / 15 / HIGH STREET / LAMBETH, and would appear to be the same as used on spirit flasks between 1827 and 1838. Unfortunately the sprigs are from the standard “Davenport set” and the tree may also be Staffordshire derived.”