Dating royal doulton character jugs
The first jugs generally had plain handles, with one or two exceptions, for some of the clown jugs had multi-coloured handles, Dick Turpin had a gun for a handle and the Cellerer a bunch of keys.
It was during the 1950s that the handles achieved greater creative significance when Max Henk was involved in their production.
For instance, the first clown range of jugs produced in the 1930s had red hair and multi-coloured handles, but due to the war time restrictions on supply of materials, the hair during the war years was changed to brown. Red or brown haired clowns are two-three times more valuable than the white ones, but the most valuable if the one-off black haired clown, commissioned by a family whose grandfather was a black haired clown.
This was sold at auction a few years ago for £12,000.
Members who joined at a later date find the clock points to two o’clock.
Other factors which aid dating and can affect value includes colour variations.
Founder members of the Doulton Collectors Club were offered versions of John Doulton with the clock on the handle pointing to eight o’clock.He envisaged a more colourful and stylish jug based on the head and sholders of a character rather than the full figure.He had in mind characters from English song, literature, history and legend, designed to appeal to future generations.This handle contains the Olympic torch, a contemporary US flag of the time and a banner inscribed with the name of the Olympic town ‘Berlin’.
Sometimes variations have been made to handle design without altering the overall style of the jug.Or maybe it was after a song popular in 1761, around the time the jug was first produced in a traditional, brown salt glaze version. Doulton had made Toby jugs in the traditional manner since 1815 but in the 1920’s Harry Simeon added colour.