A Guide to Royal Doulton China Patterns

Posted on

Few names resonate as profoundly in the world of fine china and ceramics as Royal Doulton. Synonymous with quality, elegance, and unparalleled craftsmanship, Royal Doulton has etched its legacy into the annals of British ceramic artistry. From humble beginnings in a London pottery studio to adorning the dining tables of the finest homes around the globe, Royal Doulton china patterns embody a rich tapestry of history, art, and culture.

The Heritage of Royal Doulton

Founded by John Doulton in 1815, Royal Doulton began as a small pottery shop in Lambeth, London. Initially producing simple household items, the company's fate changed dramatically when John's son, Henry Doulton, joined the business. Under his leadership, Royal Doulton expanded into the manufacture of sanitary ware, ultimately paving the way for artistic stoneware and fine bone china.

Royal Doulton's ascent to the pinnacle of ceramic excellence was marked by innovative design, a commitment to quality, and the acquisition of talented artists. The brand's collaboration with individuals like Charles Noke and its royal warrant, granted by King Edward VII in 1901, underscored its status as a purveyor of luxury goods.

Variety of Royal Doulton China Patterns

The essence of Royal Doulton fine china lies in its exquisite patterns. Whether floral, pastoral, or abstract, each design is tastefully displayed on each piece of china. The company's knack for producing series ware, limited editions, and reviving classic patterns has made Royal Doulton china a coveted item for collectors and enthusiasts alike.

With over 200 years of Royal Doulton's china production, a few patterns stand out for their beauty and iconic status. These iconic patterns have defined the brand's legacy and captured the hearts of collectors and enthusiasts worldwide. 

Each pattern, with its unique story and inspiration, reflects Royal Doulton's commitment to excellence and its ability to celebrate the rich tapestry of cultures and nature through fine china. From whimsical illustrations that spark the imagination to sophisticated designs that adorn the most formal tables, these iconic patterns showcase the best of Royal Doulton's artistry and craftsmanship.  Here are just a few popular china patterns Royal Doulton has offered through the years.


Introduced in 1934, Bunnykins features charming rural and family scenes depicted through the adventures of playful rabbits. This makes it a beloved children's tableware series and a family heirloom.

Old Country Roses

Launched in 1962, Old Country Roses is celebrated for its timeless floral design, adorned with rich gold edging. Its enduring popularity has made it one of the world's best-selling bone china patterns.

Brambly Hedge

Drawing inspiration from Jill Barklem's illustrations, Brambly Hedge captures the whimsy of woodland life, turning each piece into a collector's treasure.

The Majestic Collection

This collection revisits traditional designs with a modern twist, showcasing luxurious patterns like Booth's Real Old Willow, famed for its intricate landscapes and floral motifs.


A testament to Royal Doulton's versatility, Floradora features elegant and sophisticated floral patterns in green and gold.


Introduced in 1973, Tangier's vibrant and exotic patterns, reminiscent of Moroccan design, celebrate the brand's global influences.


An exquisite pattern that draws inspiration from Asian art, Tonkin combines delicate florals with geometric designs, showcasing the brand's attention to detail and cultural homage.


Sarabande stands out for its simplicity and elegance. Its striking black and platinum rim makes it perfect for formal occasions.


Exuding classic elegance, Adrian features a rich, blue floral design complemented by gold trim, embodying the timeless beauty for which Royal Doulton is known for.


Capturing the rustic charm of the French countryside, Provencal's focus on floral motifs makes it a warm, inviting pattern for any home.

Collecting Royal Doulton Fine China Patterns

Collecting Royal Doulton china is an art in itself, a journey through the brand's storied history. Aspiring collectors should familiarize themselves with the brand's evolution and understand the significance of marks, stamps, and the rarity of specific patterns.

Royal Doulton pieces can be found in consignment shops like Around the Block, estate sales, and reputable online marketplaces. It's critical to always verify the seller's credibility and request detailed photographs to ensure the piece's condition and authenticity. Familiarize yourself with the nuances of genuine Royal Doulton china to beware of counterfeits.

Care and Maintenance of Royal Doulton China Patterns

Caring for Royal Doulton china is essential to preserving its beauty, lustre, and value over time. These pieces, often passed down through generations or collected with passion, require a delicate touch and mindful maintenance. Here are tips and best practices for ensuring your Royal Doulton treasures stand the test of time:

Handling and Usage

Always handle your Royal Doulton china with care. Use both hands when lifting plates or serving pieces to avoid stress on the delicate edges. Sudden temperature changes, known as thermal shock, can cause cracking or crazing. Also, do not pour boiling hot liquids into cold china cups or serve very cold foods on plates that have been stored in a warm cupboard.


Dishwashers can damage fine china with harsh chemicals and high heat. It's best to hand wash your pieces with a mild detergent and warm water, using a soft sponge or cloth to gently wipe away food and stains. Then, use a soft, lint-free cloth to dry your china immediately after washing to prevent water spots and streaking. Avoid air drying, which can leave marks or lead to mildew in humid environments. 

For stubborn stains or tea discoloration in cups, use a solution of baking soda and water to gently scrub the affected areas. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scrubbers that can scratch the surface.


You should store your Royal Doulton china in a clean, dry cabinet. For plates and bowls, consider using felt separators or paper towels between each piece to prevent scratching. Avoid stacking too many plates or bowls high, as the weight can cause pressure and lead to cracks or chips. Store cups hanging from hooks or upside-down on a soft surface.

If you display your Royal Doulton china pattern, ensure the shelves or display cabinets are stable and free from vibrations. Avoid direct sunlight, which can fade patterns and colours over time.

Special References

Some Royal Doulton china patterns require additional care.  Pieces with gold or metallic trims require extra care, as these decorations can be damaged by microwave use and harsh detergents. Always keep these pieces out of microwaves and clean them gently by hand. Older pieces or those considered heirlooms should be used and handled sparingly. Consider these items more for display and enjoy their historical and aesthetic value rather than for regular use.

Adhering to these care and maintenance guidelines will help ensure that your Royal Doulton china remains a cherished part of your collection, preserving its beauty and integrity for future generations to admire and enjoy.

Royal Doulton China Patterns - Final Thoughts

The allure of Royal Doulton china patterns lies not just in their beauty but in their ability to bridge past and present. Whether you are a seasoned collector or a newcomer enchanted by the elegance of fine china, Royal Doulton offers a world of discovery. We invite you to delve deeper into the rich history of Royal Doulton, explore its iconic patterns, and perhaps start a collection of your own. 

If you are in the market for Royal Doulton, visit Around the Block consignment. Our Toronto-area shop features an exquisite array of unique and vintage fine china patterns, both formal and casual, from all the top fine china manufacturers, including Royal Doulton, Spode, Wedgewood, Royal Albert, Christian Dior, Paragon, and more.  Around the Block consignment is where seasoned collectors and newcomers can discover rare finds and beloved classics. If you're looking to start your collection, find that missing piece, or simply admire the beauty of these timeless designs, drop by our shop or visit us online.

← Older Post Newer Post →