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What Should Every Collector Of Royal Doulton Figurines Know?

Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 02:00PM
Tags: advice, cleaning, collectibles, figurines, Royal Doulton
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'Buttercup' - Royal Doulton Lady figurine

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.

How To Clean Your Royal Doulton Figurines

Thursday, December 13, 2012 at 02:00PM
Tags: cleaning, dusting, figurine cleaning, Royal Doulton
Filed in: Information
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The Royal Doulton Detective figurineAs specialists in discontinued Royal Doulton figurines, we regularly get asked a whole array of different questions related to the company's fantastic products.

Some specific to certain figurines that have been produced and many others more general, one question that we get asked regularly which falls into the latter category is how to best - and safely - clean a Royal Doulton figurine.

And although the following information is in response to the question about those figurines from Royal Doulton, it actually applies to most other similar products produced by companies from the English Potteries.

Firstly, it's vastly important that you never immerse your figurines in water.  No matter how dusty they may be, how much dirt they may have on them or if they appear to have something particularly sticky or stubborn on them, letting the figurine soak in a bowl of water is not recommended in the least.

For general cleaning, a thorough, gentle dusting with a soft cosmetic brush - or a specialist photography lens brush - could prove to be all that's needed.

Ensuring you are able to dust every single part of the figurine, it's always advisable to use a brush that's particularly small - anything larger, even a normal sized duster or feather duster, no matter how careful you think you can be, could far too easily result in you inadvertently knocking the figurine over.

In the event that a light (but thorough) dusting doesn't clean the figurine fully, you may need to use a damp cloth with a particularly mild detergent to give it a very gentle wipe over.

If there's just one thing to note here, it's that we'd always recommend bringing a bowl of water to the figurine, rather than taking the figurine to the sink.  The reason behind this is whilst Royal Doulton figurines are more durable than many first realise, knocking them on a tap could prove to be devastating and damaging potentially beyond repair.

Ensuring you never get water in the hole, as it's almost impossible to guarantee it's fully dried out, if you do use a damp cloth on the figurine, it's recommend to let it dry naturally, ideally away from sunlight and obviously away from anywhere it could be knocked over easily.

Once you've finished the main cleaning process, carefully buffing it with a soft cloth should ensure it's brought to its best before it's placed back in its prime position.

When it comes to looking after your Royal Doulton figurines, prevention is always better than treatment and if you're worried about them needing a regular clean, make sure they're somewhere that will reduce this need considerably, such as in a display cabinet.

However, we know that all figurines need a clean every now and again, no matter how well they're looked after and the most important thing we can tell you is to simply be careful.  More haste, less speed and you can be confident that your Royal Doulton figurine will be looking its best in no time.

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