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How Can You Date Your Royal Doulton Figurine?

Friday, October 11, 2013 at 02:00PM
Tags: collectible, figurine, gifts, Royal Doulton, Royal Doulton figurines, valuation
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A figure in a flowing dress known as Wisdom, available through the Doulton Lady

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.

Do You Need To Know The Value Of Your Royal Doulton Figurines?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013 at 10:00AM
Tags: Royal Doulton, Royal Doulton figurines, Royal Doulton ladies, valuation
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The Mary Jane Royal Doulton lady figurine

Over the past couple of weeks, we've talked about a few different topics related to the value of your Royal Doulton figurines - back in early April we talked about the importance of getting your figurines valued, whilst earlier in May we discussed whether Royal Doulton figurines make good investments.

Today, we want to talk once again about Royal Doulton figurines and their value, but in a way that some may not have thought about previously - and we want to raise a few questions as to whether it's actually beneficial knowing how much your figurines are worth.

In some ways, this contradicts what we said in our post from April, where we talked about why it's important to get them valued.

However, after we received a few comments recently about certain items and asking for our advice on valuing them, we began to question whether such information is actually useful to have.

If we were to speak generally, we'd say that everyone should get their figurines valued, for the reasons we listed previously.  But it's always interesting to look at topics in different ways and we believe there could be some instances where knowing the valuation of a figurine, whilst not detrimental, could not be worthwhile.

For example, let's imagine one of your older relatives had a collection of Royal Doulton ladies they'd amassed over the years.  They'd never been valued and they were all on show, taking pride of place in the living room.  It's unlikely these figurines are ever going to be sold and they're simply going to be handed down through the family once the relative passes away.

Now getting the figurines valued would obviously mean they could be accurately insured (they'll no doubt be covered on the home insurance policy, but they may be under / over insured), but there's also the likelihood that should they find out the figurines were worth more than they thought, they would box them all away for fear of them being damaged.

But what benefit would this have?  The relative adores the figurines and loves looking at them on a daily basis - hiding them away would greatly reduce the satisfaction they got from them, simply because they've been turned into objects of value, rather than enjoyment.

We're in no way saying you shouldn't get your Royal Doulton figurines valued, but we do feel it's important you don't take it as a requirement as a lover of the items - knowing how much your collection is valued at can be fantastic, but if you aren't a professional collector or investor and believe knowing the value could greatly reduce the enjoyment you get from them, it has to be questioned whether having this information - in some instances - will actually be worthwhile.

The Importance Of Getting Your Royal Doulton Figurine Valued

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 02:00PM
Tags: Royal Doulton, Royal Doulton figurines, valuations
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The Royal Doulton 'Bunny' child figurine

Last week, we received a comment on our blog post '7 Interesting Facts About Royal Doulton', which came from a lady who was looking to find out the valuation of a Royal Doulton figure she had.

Happy to answer the question and provide an idea of how much the figurine was worth based on the information we had, we actually receive a lot of e-mails asking similar questions regularly.

And as you may have seen, we also offer a full range of services to assist with any insurance claim, including providing a valuation of the figurine in question for replacement purposes.

Now we know that plenty of owners of figurines take the time to get valuations for various different reasons.  Sometimes it's just for their own knowledge and other times its for insurance purposes.  Whichever it is, however, it's always good information to have to hand.

There are many more, however, who don't have any idea how much their figurine is worth. Perhaps they received it as a gift or maybe it has been handed down through the generations.  They may have even picked it up at a second-hand market and bought it because they liked how it looked and not for any other factor.

Whilst there's no obligation to get your figurines valued, it is advisable to do so so at the very least you have an idea of what they're worth, for various reasons.

For example, when we know how much something costs, we treat it in a certain way.  If it's an expensive ornament, we may put it in a display cabinet rather than having it on the hearth of a fireplace, in case it accidentally gets knocked off.

If it's a valuable piece of jewellery we may only wear it on special occasions, for fear of losing it.  Even if it's something like a designer handbag, as much as we might want to wear it regularly and show it off every day, we often refrain from doing so, in case it becomes damaged and we can't wear it at all.

If we don't know how much something costs, even if we have an idea it may be valuable, we're not usually as careful with it.  An ornament may be placed in the most prominent area in the house, even if it's at risk of being knocked off and jewellery may be worn constantly and during everyday tasks, no matter how ruined it may become.

We're not saying that if we find out something's expensive, we treat it with the utmost care and attention, but we generally look after it a little more.

Now imagine you had a Royal Doulton lady that got knocked over by your children playing and it was only afterwards you discovered it was worth several hundred pounds - there's a good chance you'd have made an effort to at least put it out of the way whilst the children were growing up!

Getting a valuation for your Royal Doulton figurine can be quick, easy and extremely beneficial - and the truth is, you may just be surprised at how valuable your figurine actually is.

You may not decide to do anything different with your figurine when you know how much it costs, but it's always good to have the information to hand so you can decide what - if anything - you are going to do moving forward.

Claiming On Your Insurance For A Lost Royal Doulton Figurine? We Can Help!

Thursday, January 17, 2013 at 10:00AM
Tags: identification, insurance replacement, new figurines, retired figurines, Royal Doulton, valuation
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Royal Doulton Grace Figurine

To some people, a porcelain item is just that - an item.  Whether it's Royal Doulton or not, they have it in their home because they like it, but it holds no sentimental or emotional value for them.

For many others (us included!), figurines from the English Potteries are particularly important.  They may simply be something we've bought to add to our collection or they could be of significant importance to us - perhaps a family member gave it as a gift for a birthday.

Cherishing them as much as we possibly can, when they go missing or are accidentally damaged, it can be a distressing time.  Claiming on your insurance is obviously the most obvious way to retrieve at least something back, but we know that it can be a difficult and long-drawn out process.

And it's because of this why at The Doulton Lady, we do as much as we can to ensure your insurance claim is resolved in the quickest and most efficient way possible, with our involvement revolving around three separate points.

Identification

If there's one thing we know a lot about, it's figurines.  Having a vast knowledge of both current and retired figurines from an array of manufacturers, we are confident that we can identify any figurines - and many other collectables - extremely quickly.

Valuation

One of the most important aspects of any insurance claim is getting a fair and accurate valuation of the product that has been lost or damaged.

Due to our knowledge of both new and secondary markets, you can rest assured that not only will you get the right valuation for your figurine, but that we can also swiftly replace currently available items - often at a respectably discounted price.

Supply And Delivery

One of our primary strengths when it comes to assisting with insurance claims is that unlike many High Street retailers, we are able to supply both new and retired figurines - we know that collections are often built up over many years and so when they need replacing, they'll very often contain a number of figurines that have been out of production for years.

Not only are we one of the largest stockists of retired figurines in the UK, but we have direct links with the main manufacturers in China, ensuring you can be certain that whatever your figurine replacement requirements are, we can assist with them perfectly.

Always happy to help our customers in whatever way we can, our insurance replacement services are an ideal example of what we do to ensure our customer satisfaction level remains consistently high.

To find out more about how we can help with an insurance claim for your collectable item, whether that's a Royal Doulton figurine or not, contact us.

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