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Royal Doulton Kateroo Seriesware by Souter

The Royal Doulton Kateroo seriesware was introduced in 1905 and featured a stylised black and white cat based on the drawings and newspaper illustrations of David Henry Souter. The series became known as the Kateroo series or Souter series. Kateroo reputedly started as a inkblot on one of Souter’s drawings. The designs initially featured on tea ware and coffee ware, with the range expanding to jugs, vases, plates, and pots. Rarer items included candleholders and twin handled bowl/planter. It was made by Doulton until 1939.

A Royal Doulton Kateroo Part Tea And Coffee Service By Souter
A Royal Doulton Kateroo Part Tea And Coffee Service By Souter. Sold for £ 720 (US$ 809) at Bonhams, August 2008.

The series ware generally featured the Kateroo cat in various poses sometimes with various mottos and phrases including: ‘Better alone than in bad company‘, ‘Be content, the sea has fish enough‘, ‘East, West, Hame’s best‘, and ‘Trust Not Him That Seems a Saint‘.

One of the rarest Doulton figurines is actually a model of Kateroo designed by modelled by Charles Noke himself. The Kateroo figure with model number HN514 was created in a number of colourways including black & white, green and yellow and measured about 32cm high. Models seldom come to market and ones we have seen have sold for £2,500-£3,500 / $3,500-$4,500.

Doulton Seriesware Kateroo vase Better Alone Than in Bad Company
Doulton Seriesware Kateroo vase Better Alone Than in Bad Company. Sold for $600 at Lion and Unicorn, May 2021.

Kateroo is especially popular in the USA and in Australia where Souter would later move and settle.

About David Henry Souter

David Henry Souter (1862-1935 ), who attended the South Kensington Art School, was born in Aberdeenshire in 1862. Before relocating with his wife to Sydney, Australia, in 1881, he spent five years working as an illustrator and journalist in Natal, South Africa. He often provided cartoons to the Tribune newspaper from there. He started working for the Bulletin newspaper in 1892, and for more than forty years, he provided at least one cartoon per week. He was a founder member and later president of the Society of Artists, a member of the Art Society of New South Wales, and the first art editor of Art and Architecture, Australia’s first art publication.

Doulton Seriesware Kateroo bowl Trust Not Him That Seems a Saint
Doulton Seriesware Kateroo bowl Trust Not Him That Seems a Saint. Sold for $200 at Lion and Unicorn, May 2021.

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