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How To Spot A Royal Doulton 'Seconds'

Written by on Monday, January 7, 2013 at 10:00AM
Filed in: Information
Royal Doulton, Royal Doulton seconds, second figurines, seconds
Comments: 2

The second style of Royal Doulton's Best Friends figurineOur aim at The Doulton Lady, whilst having a considerable focus on customer service and the overall satisfaction of our customers, is to simply sell the highest quality products we can.

Specialising in discontinued Royal Doulton figurines, we stock a wide variety of new and discontinued products from a range of English Pottery companies, but we never have done - and never will - offer for sale seconds.

Simply put, seconds are products that have been manufactured, but which the company deemed to be 'second quality'.

Usually meaning there's a fault in it somewhere, whilst a lot of seconds can appear to be of a great quality and don't have to necessarily be given a wide berth, it's important that you truly know when you're buying a seconds piece, as the value of it is considerably less than a standard, high quality piece.

And the best place to look to determine whether a piece is a seconds or not is on the base.

On every Royal Doulton product produced, the company put their backstamp on the base.  A common practice used to help identify one company's products from another, simply put, when a product is a seconds, the backstamp will be defaced in one of two ways.

The first (and most common) is that there'll be a clear hole drilled through the centre of the backstamp.  It will be neat, tidy and might not even be recognisable at first, but as you look at it further, it'll become obvious that it has been done on purpose, completely removing any doubt that the figurine may be a first quality product.

The second method is to score a line through the backstamp, with two separate ways seen here - the line is horizontal through the words 'Royal Doulton' or diagonally across the entire backstamp, either way making it obvious that it has been purposely done to show the product is a seconds.

Royal Doulton products are marked as seconds for a reason.  They're not of the highest quality that the company aim to produce for whatever reason and as we said above, although they may still appear to be of a good quality to some, there'll be an obvious blemish on the piece somewhere - and as a company with a high quality reputation gained over many, many decades, they only want to deliver the best quality products to ensure this reputation is maintained.

At The Doulton Lady, we don't sell seconds of any brand, but we know that some buy them unintentionally elsewhere, often believing the backstamp defacing is from natural wear and tear or is supposed to be there.

It's therefore of the utmost importance that before you head out to buy a Royal Doulton figurine, you know as much as you can about the product - including how to identify a second - so to ensure you get the product you expect.

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  1. I recently bought a RD figurine for a significant price. It has a paper stamp, with red stripes and R-2 written on it. The stamp partially covers the backstamp. Is this a seconds?

    Written on Thursday, May 16, 2019 at 3:36hrs by wendy roscher

  2. Near each back stamp on my RD Stanwyck 1992 china is a small (no bigger than 1/4 inch) gold paint "splash" or line. What does this mean? Thanks!

    Written on Sunday, May 3, 2020 at 14:25hrs by Cecilia

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