Date cyphers

Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers

Please consider my book

Handbook

© Michael Perry 2011. Contact

Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011

DATING DOULTON - DATE CYPHERS

 

Date letters

From 1902 to 1925 the lower-case letters ‘c’ to ‘z’ were added below the mark. The letter may be inside a shield, or between hyphens. The key to the dates is given in the table.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ow.

 

Date numbers

From 1928, the lower-case date cyphers were replaced by prominent printed numbers usually positioned to the right of the mark. This system of dating was introduced in 1928 (with the number 1) and ended in 1957 (with the number 30). If this numeral is present, the date of production can be ascertained by adding 1927 to the number.  For example if the numeral is ‘7’, the date of production is 1927 + 7 = 1934. An abbreviated key is given below.

 

Importantly, evidence suggests that the Doulton mark and the date number were added separately. In the image, the impressed date of ‘10 32’ is the date of manufacture of the body. The Registered Design No. (764873) was registered in mid-1931 and may apply to the shape of the ware. The pattern number D5202 , ‘Maybells’, was added to the pattern book in 1932, and the Doulton mark (lacking the words ‘Made in England’) is also consistent with a production date of 1932.

The date numeral ‘13’, however, is for the year 1940!

Close examination reveals that the date number (the ‘13’) is on top of the glaze, as is the pattern number, whilst the makers mark and the Registered Design No. are underneath the glaze. Hypothetically, the impressed date and Registered Design No. apply to the the body -the shape - and could be applied at an early stage. Each shape would have many possible patterns and so the pattern number (and if a named pattern, the name) could only be applied later, perhaps much later in response to an order or anticipated demand.

The role of the date number, however, is unclear. Perhaps the date numerals were used by Doulton for some other purpose, such as the year of decoration - and thus the year the manufacturing process was completed?

Number

Year

Number

Year

Number

Year

Number

Year

1

1928

9

1936

16

1943

24

1951

2

1929

10

1937

17

1944

25

1952

3

1930

11

1938

18

1945

26

1953

4

1931

12

1939

19

1946

27

1954

5

1932

13

1940

20

1947

28

1955

6

1933

14

1941

21

1948

29

1956

7

1934

15

1942

22

1949

30

1957

8

1935

 

 

23

1950

 

 

Letter

Year

Letter

Year

Letter

Year

Letter

Year

c

1902

i

1908

o

1914

u

1920

d

1903

j

1909

p

1915

v

1921

e

1904

k

1910

q

1916

w

1922

f

1905

l

1911

r

1917

x

1923

g

1906

m

1912

s

1918

y

1924

h

1907

n

1913

t

1919

z

1925

©Michael Perry 2011

Doulton date number, pattern number and registered design no.

There are FIVE different sources of date information on the base of this plate suggesting dates from mid-1931 to 1940.

Image ©Michael Perry 2010