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What Should Every Collector Of Royal Doulton Figurines Know?

Written by on Tuesday, February 4, 2014 at 02:00PM
Filed in: Information
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.

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