Many collectors tell me they prefer not to clean their collection of figurines because of the risk of damaging them. It goes without saying that the utmost care should be taken when cleaning figurines, but we shouldn't be afraid to do so because figures certainly don't display at their best once they've accumulated a layer of dust.
A periodic dusting with a soft cosmetic or photographic lens brush is a good idea. But it is also worthwhile, when needed, to wipe figurines with a soft damp cloth which has been dipped in warm water with a mild detergent. (Be very careful not to knock the figurine on the tap!) Certainly never immerse figurines in water and don't get water inside the filling hole on the base. Let them dry naturally before returning to their place of display. A gentle buffing with a soft cloth may provide the finishing touch.
Never use abrasive materials or cleaning compounds and do not expose figurines to extreme temperatures.
How to Identify a Seconds Quality Figurine
There are far more seconds quality figurines being sold on the secondary market than ever before, so it's important to be able to identify a "seconds". Royal Doulton basically deface the backstamp on the base of the figurine to denote the figurine as seconds quality. Two methods have been used. The first is a drilled indentation defacing the centre of the lion and crown symbol. The second method is a scored line either diagonally across the entire backstamp or horizontally through "Royal Doulton". (Note; The Doulton Lady does not sell seconds quality figurines!)