This charming antique Royal Doulton "Monks in the Cellar" 5.5" tall ceramic tankard was made by renowned English pottery Royal Doulton shortly after the turn of the 20th century. The piece was designed by Doulton's Art Director Charles J. Noke and, as seen in photo 8, bears his name. Noke was responsible for developing Royal Doulton seriesware not long after joining the company in 1889. Over the next several decades, seriesware was made in a number of themes including animals, flowers, fairy tale characters and figures from literature among others. The very collectible Monks in the Cellar range of Doulton seriesware was discontinued in 1906.
As mentioned above, this piece of antique Royal Doulton ceramic has been made in the form of a tankard. The piece has a traditional tankard/stein form with a round thick foot designed for stability which gives way to a cylindrical body. The walls of the tankard taper in slightly as they rise to the rim. The piece is finished with an applied strap handle at one side.
The tankard features a transferware image executed in saturated shades of blue on a beige ground. The indoors scene depicts a plump Franciscan friar dressed in a monk's cowl which is tied at the waist. The brewer stands with his hands on his hips regarding a stein on a low platform in front of him. There is a large keg resting on a rack behind the man along with a flight of stairs leading upwards which is visible at the end of the room. The rim of the pitcher is trimmed in blue as are the edges of the handle.
The tankard is in very good condition with no chips, cracks or repairs. As an antique item, the piece shows appropriate signs of age consisting of crazing to the glaze. It should also be mentioned that there are irregularities in the transfer decoration which are commonly found in antique transferware and is mentioned for accuracy. The underside of the foot bears the standard black Royal Doulton lion and crown backstamp which reads "ROYAL DOULTON ENGLAND" along with the hand painted pattern code "D2385".
The tankard stands 5.5" tall to the top of the rim and is 5" from the front of the rim to the back edge of the handle. The mouth is 3" in diameter and the foot is 4" in diameter. The piece weighs in at 1lb 1oz.
This highly collectible Royal Doulton tankard would be a great addition to an existing collection of Doulton's Monks in the Cellar seriesware, or works equally well as a stand alone decorative accent. A great antique find!
Antique Royal Doulton Charles Noke Monks in the Cellar Tankard Stein D2385