The Dorothy Ann Floral China Jewellery

Dorothy Ann Bone China Brooch

Should it be the classic red rose? I don't think so. Petals with buttermilk highs and saffron lows are a much smarter buy. You can don jade green, damson purple, crimson red, royal blue or the soft caramels of Autumn’s essential camel coat: this golden beauty will flourish on every lapel.

The details on the back? Dorothy Ann. China. Made in England.


In 1954, the Dorothy Ann pottery was listed in Stoke. After that I believe the name became part of Crown Devon. Was Dorothy a real person? A 50s glamour puss? Dot with a penchant for polka dot? Or is this a brand name created by a copywriter (damn those copywriters)? Google is not my friend on this point.

However, I do know that this is the most quintessentially vintage piece I own. Oh yes, it’s mine. Found in a charity shop a few weeks ago for £1 (in international currency: less than a Starbucks espresso). It emerged from a glass cabinet with its petals full of dust and neglect. Just a little gentle attention with a soft brush and soapy water brought those delicate yellows and shiny glaze back from history. Dot, you’d be proud.

News Just In

We've had a message through our Facebook page from Lynn Stephens, who tells us her aunt painted pieces for Dorothy Ann in the 40s or 50s. Lynn says:

"My mum died seven years ago and it was her sister Nell Johnson who did the painting based at home. I have a few pieces including two or three that haven't been glazed or had fixings applied. I digress! Nell Johnson nee Hill was born 1911 or thereabouts. She worked as best gold gilder for Doulton until her back gave in. Hence her work from home. My mum described Dorothy Ann as wearing bright red lipstick (strange what sticks in a child's mind). I believe it that her real name as she was spoken about.  I was only 8 - 10 years old though."

Many thanks to Lynn for this nugget of information about the actual Dorothy Ann. I just knew she'd have bright red lipstick...

Invitation to Comment

I lay down the gauntlet to all you vintage gals: find another piece of floral china jewellery, at £1 or less, and come back and tell me all about it.

What about your family pieces, what heirlooms do you treasure?

Lovely comment emailed by fellow copywriter Lorraine Thompson 
(Blogger would not let her comment through!) 

Thanks for another wonderful post.

Wow! Your rose brooch is a find. I LOVE that it's yellow, rather than a more ubiquitous red.

I have several old vases embellished with similar roses. I must say, however,  mine are worse for wear. The delicate china flowers chips so easily.

Your brooch's perfect condition speaks to its cherished status over the years, making it all the more precious today.

I'm lucky to own oodles of costume jewelry collected from 1920 onward by my magpie grandmother. Among my favorites pieces, however, are two carved and painted bird pins.

They are made of the simplest materials: wood and safety pins, but their delicate craftsmanship makes them exquisite.

And they come with a sad story: They were made during World War II by my grandfather's business associates, Japanese businessmen incarcerated in California during the War. (A shameful footnote to our country's history)

All the best,


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  1. Lovely! I can see your brooch adding a little drop of vintage to any outfit.

    I have a costume brooch of my grandmother's - a rose in full bloom with painted pink metal petals, gold stem and fine wire stamens, each topped with a tiny pastel diamanté in a tiny claw setting. I remember her wearing it at Easter, and it always reminds me very strongly of her when I wear it.

  2. Wow, that brooch sounds amazing, and even more special when it has a family memory attached to it.

    I do wear the Dorothy Ann brooch often, and you are right it does just give a vintage twist that works with many outfits, even those that seem steadfastly modern.

  3. Hi , just trying to find out about Dorothy Ann as I managed to pick up three brooches and a pair of clip on earrings today lovely pieces. Cost £5.00 so was still a bargain I think. I collect brooches mostly vintage they get quite a lot of admiring comments when I wear them.

    1. Tracey, thank you so much for commenting and sorry for the delay in replying with the Bank Holiday. You definitely got a bargain there, lots of high street shops are trying to evoke a vintage look, but they never capture the atmosphere of the real thing.

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