I have seen people pay huge amounts of money at auctions for the most common Doulton plates, while paying very little for the rare ones. How could this happen, you ask, and the answer is fairly simple. First, people place far too much value on a name such as Doulton and second, they seldom know the rare from the common.
Here is a tip when it comes to these plates. If they have a means of transportation (not carriages) on them, they are rare. Ones with airplanes and cars are the best ones. The series on automobiles is called Early Motoring and the airplane ones are the Aeronautical series. Some other series that bring big money are golf and other sports plates. The old English series usually does not fare that well.
My personal favorites are the Gnome series and they remind me of the Wedgwood Fairyland Lustre. For the collector of this series, there seems to be no limit to what they will spend for a piece. I once had a lady who gave me permission to buy any piece of this series and told me she would give me a handsome profit over my cost. If I were ever thinking about collecting Doulton again, it would be this pattern. In fact, if you run across any pieces with the Gnomes, please contact me.
The last series I will share with you is the Blue Babies series and this pattern looks similar to flow blue. I have never had difficulty in selling a piece in this pattern and they usually will at least double the price of other patterns. Series ware not only comes in plates, but also vases, bowls, pitchers and many other forms.
If you ever have an interest in Doulton series ware, the best reference is the four book set called Royal Doulton Series Ware by Louise Irvine. I feel certain it is probably out of print but perhaps you could find it on Amazon or Abe Books.
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