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A First World War Royal Doulton ‘Old Bill’ Bulldog, 1918
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A First World War Royal Doulton ‘Old Bill’ Bulldog, 1918

Measurements: Height: 16cm (6.2in)

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Khaki glaze ceramic British bulldog modelled with Brodie helmet and haversack. Produced by Royal Doulton under model number ‘Old Bill HN146’. Printed registration number 662746 to base.

During the First World War the British bulldog came to symbolize the dogged determination of the nation under duress through patriotic caricature. Royal Doulton seized on the theme to produce Union Jack draped bulldogs in 1915. In 1918 the firm added ‘Old Bill HN146’ to its range as a nod to the widely popular cartoon character created by the humorist and cartoonist Captain Bruce Bairnsfather (1887-1959). Old Bill, an elderly, pipe-smoking British ‘Tommy’ with a walrus moustache, was based on a lance-corporal from Birmingham  who was killed in the same action that saw the Bairnsfather invalided from the Western front in April 1915.


 

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