Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 03:39PM
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Around our own possessions, especially those of some worth, it makes sense to take due care and diligence to ensure nothing is damaged, dropped or even nudged in the wrong way. And that’s how most people would behave around their Royal Doulton figurines.
You can safeguard your figurine by placing it out of reach on a sturdy shelf, or inside a glass-fronted cabinet. All the same, it’s surprisingly easy for a child, pet or house guest to get curious or careless. And if you take your figurine out of its safe place – for cleaning or to admire its fine detail – a momentary lapse in your otherwise cautious attitude can occur. No matter how careful a person tries to be, accidents can always happen.
If your Royal Doulton figurine does become damaged, there are a few different ways you can go about resolving the situation. In part, it will depend on just how bad the damage is.
Maybe you’re only dropped your figure, or maybe even just set it down too hard on a surface. Whatever the exact cause, if your figurine is merely chipped, it shouldn’t be too hard to restore.
If the chip or crack is on the back or base of the figurine, you might even consider not doing anything about it. After all, few people if any will actually see it.
This isn’t an option that is much talked about. Most of us would rather have an intact figurine, even if nobody really knows the difference. Note that having a slightly damaged figurine will affect the value, and is something you should point out when and if you sell the piece.
It may be you can’t allow the chip or other minor damage to remain, in which case the best thing to do is to wrap the figurine up – along with the missing chip if you can find it – and take it carefully to a repairer. They will be able to match the colour, the sheen, everything, so that it looks as good as new.
If on the other hand the damage is more severe, there is likely to be nothing you can do about repairing the piece. With thousands of pieces strewn on the ground, it’s fairly evident the piece can’t be salvaged, and so it will be time to look for a replacement.
In the meantime, you should be able to claim for the piece on your insurance. If you have contents insurance, you should be covered already, but the Doulton Lady also offers insurance and valuation services that will potentially get you a better deal.
Dealing with the loss of a valued possession is rarely easy, but with proper preparation and swift action, you can greatly minimise the impact of the damage.
One of the things we think is so great about Royal Doulton figurines is the sheer range of them available. Whether sentimental, touching or nostalgic, each type of figurine is different and has its own kind of character.
And it's because of the sheer number of different figurines available that it's natural to wonder if there really is one for everyone.
People can have very diverse tastes, and some people would say they have no interest in figurines at all. But with a little digging around, seeing exactly what is out there, it's probably possible to find something that even the most fickle person would enjoy.
This is good news for those people looking for a new ornament to put on their shelf, to brighten up their living room, dining room, or wherever.
But it's also really good news for anyone looking for the perfect gift for their friends or loved ones. Figurines make perfect presents, and receiving a beautiful Royal Doulton figurine could mark the start of a new hobby or interest on their part.
Just as many people don't necessarily realise they wanted something until it is provided for them, it may take receiving one of these beautiful pieces for some to see how rewarding collecting and displaying them can be.
That the figurines have such wide appeal is particularly noteworthy when you consider that unlike many consumer goods, the Royal Doulton Company did not produce figurines with broad commercial appeal in the forefront of their minds.
Though they can be, and are, enjoyed by people of all ages, over the years and from all walks of life, it's not as if each piece was designed with the intention that they be easy to sell to a particularly wide audience.
Rather, each one was treated as art, there was not mass production on the scale that one might expect, and each one was a little different - in other words, true collectors items.
Such goods don't normally become as popular and well recognised as have Royal Doulton figurines - it's remarkable that despite being high-quality artistic goods, they can still appeal to anyone.
Whether it's the Ladies or Historical figures collections, or the classic Images of Nature, once you start looking you feel like you have to see them all. So for a good idea of what each figurine has to offer different types of person, there's no better way to find this out than to look through the extensive back catalogue of pieces and decide for yourself!
Collecting Royal Doulton figurines is an incredibly rewarding hobby. But as with any hobby, your experience can always be enriched by a more in-depth understanding or knowledge of what it is you do.
That way, you're best equipped to look after your collection, spot bargains and impress your fellow collectors.
Perhaps you're new to collecting Royal Doulton figurines, or perhaps you're a more experienced enthusiast who would just like to refresh their understanding of their trade. Either way, we're sure you'll spot one or two tips here that you weren't aware of.
Terms of the trade
Collectors of Royal Doulton figurines, like all hobbyists, have their own special terms and vocabulary that might not immediately make sense to the general public.
In particular, there are some terms that might be used one way by enthusiasts, but understood in a different way by the general public.
For example, 'limited edition' and 'limited production' sound similar but actually refer to different concepts. 'Limited edition' pieces are by definition produced in small numbers, but 'limited production' pieces are manufactured for a short space of time. The latter are not necessarily rare (there might be tens of thousands of them available), and so the term might be used misleadingly to indicate wares are more valuable than they really are.
Make sure you study up and look up any terms that you're unsure on before buying.
Check the markings
A seal of authenticity can be found on all Royal Doulton wares. This stamp not only reassures that you have a genuine article on your hands, but also contains information about the designer, the date, and therefore, the value of the piece.
Royal Doulton has used a few different dating systems throughout its history, and the method of interpreting a stamp is far from obvious. We've written a brief primer before on how to read Royal Doulton stamps, but your best bet may be to ask an expert for a valuation.
Cleaning your figurines
Even if they're stored safely in a cabinet, your figurines are almost certain to get a little dusty once in a while.
It's perfect safe to clean them, as long as you use a little care. Use a solution of water with a little soap and use a soft cloth to dab at the figurine. A microfibre cleaning clothis ideal as it attracts dust and will help with all the nooks and crannies on the surface of the figures.
Be certain not to scrub your pieces, as you may accidentally take away some of the paint or chip the surface.
Got any more tips for collectors? Feel free to share them in the comments.
In the world of British design, few names are as well-respected and valued as Doulton. And one of the things that makes the brand somewhat exceptional is that the figurines, which are no longer being produced, have remained highly sought after ever since their introduction.
Royal Doulton as a brand goes back nearly two hundred years - in fact, the bicentennial will be next year - and that period of time has seen major upheavals in virtually every aspect of British life.
The world of today would be unrecognisable to an observer from the early 19th century. With so many distractions and forms of entertainment, people in this day and age don't tend to place as much value on ornaments as perhaps they used to, and yet Royal Doulton figurines remain very popular.
With the rise of e-commerce and online communities, the number of figurines being sold and bought by enthusiasts remains high, but there must be a reason for this beyond the ease of finding like-minded individuals who can help build a person's own collection.
Everyone has their own reason for collecting, as we discussed in our last post - but we reckon there are reasons why the Royal Doulton brand of figurines has remained so popular throughout its lifetime, into more modern times, and why we can expect it to remain so sought after for some years to come.
When you own a Royal Doulton figurine, you hold in your hand a classic piece of British design; really a potent reminder of a time gone by.
It's not just that the dolls from collections such as Ladies or Characters look nice, though they certainly do that as well. It's that they evoke a time period about which we feel nostalgic, even if we haven't actually experienced that period first hand.
Like many examples of classic English or British products - vintage cars from this country being other examples - the design and craftsmanship are second to none.
Plus, these commodities continue to appreciate in value. There might be a relatively minor number of collectors who indulge their hobby purely for the future financial reward, but of course it is always reassuring to know they will make a nice nest egg.
So there you have it - a hobby that not only reflects the great heritage of this country and its industry, but is valued internationally as well. It's no wonder these figurines have endured.
Over the years, Royal Doulton figurines have become known as one of the most enduringly popular items to collect. While all kinds of collectibles are popular for a few months or years and then disappear (anyone remember beanie babies?) - genuine Royal Doulton figurines have been sought after throughout their lifetime.
But what is it about these particular figurines that gives them such longevity?
Of course, the exact reasons differ from person to person - every collector has different reasons for their Royal Doulton obsession. But we think there are a few big reasons that many collectors would give if you were to ask them.
So we've brought together some of the top reasons to collect, so perhaps you if you know someone who accumulates these figurines you can possibly gain a bit of an insight into their hobby. And if you were wondering about Royal Doulton and were thinking of beginning to build up your own collection - well, maybe this writeup will give you the inspiration you need to develop a new interest!
For the first reason, you only need to take a look at the figurines themselves. Every single one has massive ornamental appeal, displaying as they do incredible craftsmanship, taste and style. Particularly when you look at the Ladies or historical figures, you can really appreciate the heritage and history of the brand.
Take for instance the gorgeous and multi-layered dresses of the Ladies, evoking a type of fashion that seems to have disappeared from the modern world.
Or the characters and historical figures series featuring professions that seem to have more or less disappeared, such as blacksmith, newspaper boy and chimney sweep.
Few of us are actually old enough to recall some of the styles depicted in the historical range, but all the same we get a feeling similar to nostalgia when we get a glimpse of the times, before sagging jeans and onesies, when people really knew how to dress to impress!
Aside from the ornamental value, Royal Doulton figurines definitely make great conversation pieces - whether on display in your living room, dining room, kitchen or elsewhere, they're of a visibly high quality such that they're sure to get a discussion going!
Not to mention they are only set to increase in value - while this may or may not not be the main reason you decide to start collecting, it's definitely a nice bonus for if you or your next of kin should decide to relieve your collection further down the line. You can think of your Royal Doulton collection as a nest egg on a par with jewellery or artwork.
We're sure you can think of many other reasons to collect - maybe you have some more yourself - so why not let us know in the comments if we missed anything?
We reckon Royal Doulton figurines make a fine addition to anyone's home, whether they're a collector or not.
That means that, although a whole collection of figures out for viewing makes a fantastic eye-catching display, a simpler setup of just one or two also really adds a touch of class to the sitting room.
And that's why, at a time of year when almost everyone is thinking about what to buy their loved ones for Christmas, you should be considering Royal Doulton figurines as an ideal present.
One of the great things about figurines is the utter diversity of the selection available. There's one for almost everyone - despite whatever ideas you might have about the market for collectible figurines, people young and old, male and female, can derive enjoyment from having a few in their home.
Plus, if you're a collector yourself, giving somebody their first figurine could be a really valuable opportunity to share your hobby with them and perhaps open a way for them to become enthusiasts themselves!
There might be one for everyone, but clearly not every figure will be right for every person. The question of which one is ideal for your friends, relatives or whoever is obviously one that depends very much on who they are as a person.
Are they sentimental or practical? Nostalgic for the past, or living in the moment? Are they more likely to notice and enjoy fine details, as with the world-famous Ladies collection - or more appreciative of broader strokes as seen in the Images White and Black ranges?
Whoever it is you're shopping for, you're sure to find something they, and visitors to they home, will really enjoy.
The process of selecting a figurine requires you to know a person really well - with so many different kinds of figure available, it can be tricky to look through them all to find the right one.
So when your family and friends unwrap their new ornaments, they will recognise the work that has gone in to choosing it just for them, and re-affirm the strength of your bond.
That's what giving and receiving presents is about, after all - not necessarily getting things you really need, but that show somebody how much you care.
And finally, if you're looking for a gift when it's not Christmas, take a look at our 'Gifts For Every Occasion' section - for christenings, births or just because, you're sure to find something that suits.
At the Doulton Lady, we're best known for our range of Royal Doulton Lady figurines. And in the minds of most of the public, Royal Doulton is the Ladies collection.
That's not surprising - as the Ladies are incredibly attractive and detailed figures. They're colourful, diverse and are backed with a rich history.
But the Royal Doulton actually produced and continues to produce a wide range of different collections, which we have in stock, and we think some of these series definitely deserve showcasing too!
These are in stark contrast to the detailed and lovingly painted Ladies, as the design of these figures is actually very simple indeed.
Because they're so stark, they are better viewed not as characters or depictions of people - but representations of emotions and other more abstract concepts.
So what these Royal Doulton pieces are going for is something slightly different from more intricately detailed figures, but they will look no less attractive and eye-catching on your mantlepiece, sideboard or in a cabinet in your sitting room.
Images Black and White are ranges which have their own look, feel and general aesthetic. Figures from the Images White series are generally quite sentimental or inspirational, depicting couplings and situations.
Examples of figurines from this range that we have in stock now include Lovers, Gift of Friendship and Thankful.
Because of their sentimental appearance and wide appeal, we actually believe pieces from the Images White range make fantastic gifts for someone special in your life, who will appreciate the minimalist yet strong appearance.
Images Black on the other hand contains pieces that tend to depict emotions through evocative and striking poses. Tranquility and Awakening, sculpted from basalt, have thepotential to make a real impact in any environment where they're displayed.
Some of the same statues are available in both ranges, so if we happen not to have the one you were looking for in stock right now, feel free to look for it in another colour - or let us know that you'd like it and we'll do what we can to source one for you as soon as possible.
We're definitely proud of our Doulton Ladies, but we actually have a wide selection of figurines on offer, so take a browse and see what else we have in stock!
Unlike some other suppliers, The Doulton Lady provides genuine 19th- and 20th-century figures whose appeal and beauty have stood the test of time.
The value of a Royal Doulton figurine depends partly on its age, but on other factors too such as its condition and designer. A valuer will be able to tell you just how much a piece is worth, but there are some questions you can answer yourself just by looking.
Know however that this is not an exact science - the system used changed considerably over the years and some records detailing what certain letter and number combinations might have meant have been lost.
Under the right circumstances however, you can determine a lot about the figure such as its age and designer or painter.
The main giveaway is the stamp, which can vary very much between individual figures, so you need a little more information to understand what it's telling you.
The stamp in fact does tell you more than just the age, as many of them are signed with the initials of the painter. And since the design of the stamp itself changed over time, even just knowing the format can allow you to place the piece within a certain date range.
You can find the stamp on the base of the figure. Firstly, you'll probably see a pair of initials. This identifies the painter of the figure. Harry Nixon (HN) was a prolific figure painter and the first to use his initials in the stamp. That practice started in 1912.
From 1872 until that point, a simple 'Royal Doulton' stamp was used, with no other specific characteristics on the mark. So don't be disappointed if there are no initials - it doesn't mean you've got a fake, but is in fact a pretty good indication that your figure was one of the first made.
If you have one of the more detailed stamps, you may see a number alongside the initials. That number indicates the number of years following 1927 that that figurine was produced. Simply add the number to 1927 to determine the year of manufacture.
This practice seems to have stopped around the 1950s however, and while a dating system continues to have been used, it is not simple to interpret. The number would not simply state the month or the year in the usual format.
While the date tends to be that that the mould was produced, and not when the figure itself was made, moulds wore out quickly, and so this is actually a good indicator of the age of the piece.
So as you can see, there is some guesswork and estimation involved - we don't have the space to go into detail about what all the cryptic marks could possibly mean. Your best bet is to have your figure professionally valued - they will hopefully tell you not just the date but the price you could ask if you were to sell your figure based on other factors too.
At Royal Doulton, we are without a doubt best known for our stunning ladies figurines. It's been a few months since we took the opportunity to showcase on our blog some of the other gorgeous products we have for sale. In this post, we want to tell you about our historical figurines - a large selection of statuettes depicting real people and professions from days gone by.
These figurines have real nostalgia value, as many of them depict people in professions that don't exist any more. Others portray jobs that have continued, but with different uniforms, equipment and so on.
Take the example of the fireman, who we see in a brass helmet, dark tunic and leather boots and belt, kneeling on a cobbled surface. While a regulation fire-retardant high-vis jackets with a bright yellow plastic helmet might be a safer outfit for the firefighters of today, there's a certain romanticism about the older version.
And with figurines in guises that hardly exist any more, such as schoolmarm, tinsmith, gamekeeper or coachman, we may feel nostalgia for a time we've experienced only through old story books and film.
While part of the attraction of our historical figurines is no doubt fond remembrance for a time when we might believe people perhaps had more respect for their work and for each other, or whatever the reason may be - it's hard to deny the styles of things such as clothing, hair and equipment has an inherent charm that goes beyond a 'rose-tinted' view of the past.
After all, do we really think that a hundred years from now, people will collect figurines of police officers in bright green jackets with a Tazer on their belt, as we so often see law enforcement wearing today?
As well as various professionals, a great number of our figurines also depict great historical figures, including Sir Winston Churchill, Alexander Graham Bell and several British monarchs, as well as more contemporary figures such as Pope John Paul II.
Figurines that bring up a little piece of history make a great talking piece when they take pride of place in your home, maybe on a mantelpiece or in a glass-fronted cabinet.
These pieces also make fantastic gifts - why not give a teacher or veterinarian who's special to you a glimpse of what their work attire might have looked like a century ago?
You'll probably be surprised at the size of our catalogue - we have over 240 historical figures, and that's only one line of products. Take a look too at our storybook characters, and collections of animals of all kinds. There's more to The Doulton Lady than the name suggests - what's your favourite range?
When we talk to people who own any number of Royal Doulton figurines, we generally find that their collection has been amassed by them buying the items themselves.
Chances are they'll have received the occasional figurine as a gift for a their birthday or Christmas, but the majority of their collection will have come from their own purchases.
Although this is undoubtedly fantastic - you can guarantee you're always going to get something you love and truly want - it does sometimes make us wonder just how many people are missing out on the wonders of Royal Doulton.
With figurines having been produced for decades, they fill the mantlepieces and cabinets of homes right around the world, but many owners are collectors or avid fans.
However, what about those people who you know would love something from the company, but don't end up buying anything for themselves?
Well from our point of view, this is where our range of gifts for every occasion comes into play!
If you head over to our dedicated gifts page, you'll see a number of fantastic products for a whole variety of different events.
From a particularly general 'congratulations' figurine through to a much more specific 'I Love London' item, the products we have available all come from Royal Doulton and do a fantastic job of showing just how high of a quality their items are.
And as such, they can make for the perfect pathway into becoming one of the many Royal Doulton 'addicts'!
There's something wonderful about Royal Doulton figurines that you don't really appreciate until you own them yourself. However, if you're not even remotely a fan to begin with, it isn't until you receive a figurine as a gift that your appreciation can begin.
They're high quality, you can see the attention to detail shining through in every respect and they do nothing but look stunning wherever you place them in your house.
Plus, with every figurine telling a story, you can almost become encompassed by them as soon as you look at them - this may sound a little strange for people who don't own them, but we're sure everyone who does will know exactly what we're talking about!
Therefore, if you know someone who you believe would love Royal Doulton, why not think about getting them one of the many gifts that are available? With there being something for every occasion, we're sure they'll not only appreciate the gift in general, but will come to fall in love with the wonderful figurines that the company produce.