5 Things to Consider When Buying Royal Crown Derby Figurines

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5 Things to Consider When Buying Royal Crown Derby Figurines

There are all sorts of collectibles for sale, including antiques, plates, and figurines. One popular type of figurine collection is the Royal Crown Derby figurine collection, which consists of quality porcelain art that dates back to the mid-18th century in the city of Derby in Britain. Royal Crown Derby figurines are distinct to the United Kingdom and are characterised by the delicate but detailed designs on the porcelain figures. Besides figurines, the historic porcelain company also specialises in high quality china.

Because the company has changed hands several times since the mid-1700s, there are different types of figurines to collect from the various eras. Collectors may be interested in only a certain time frame, which can be determined by the date of the Derby figurine's creation, as well as by the mark of the creator that is on every figurine. Besides the era, collectors may only want figurines from a specific art movement, such as the Aesthetic or Art Nouveau movements.

These factors should be considered when buying Royal Crown Derby figurines for one's collection. These figurines can be purchased in brick and mortar antique and collectible stores, as well as online using websites like eBay. Knowing what factors to consider in the purchasing process guarantees a satisfactory shopping experience for a figurine collector.

Key Considerations

There are several things that should be considered before buying Royal Crown Derby figurines. Not all Royal Crown Derby pieces are the same. They vary in manufacturer, date, brand, style, and value. Depending on what one is looking for when buying Royal Crown Derby figurines, there is a plethora to choose from, from rare antiques to more modern pieces. Knowing what to consider before buying a Royal Crown Derby figurine makes the purchasing process easier for the shopper.

Because Royal Crown Derby figurines come from such a complicated and detailed 300-year-old history of company name changes and mergers, there is a lot of background information that shoppers can benefit from knowing before buying figurines to ensure a successful purchase. Above all, shoppers should consider these five factors when buying Royal Crown Derby figurines: the manufacturing company, the Derby mark on the porcelain, the art movement that dates the figurine, personal budget, and aspects of collecting versus selling.

1. The Manufacturing Company

There are four known porcelain companies in Royal Crown Derby's history, dating back to 1756 when the first company, Nottingham Road, began the business and specialised in china. Nottingham Road was the largest china manufacturer until its closure in 1848. King Street continued the business after the first company closed down and was run by factory workers from Nottingham Road who passed on the traditions of the original Derby porcelain manufacturer. Derby Crown Porcelain Co. opened in 1876 as a competitor to King Street and was granted permission by Queen Victoria in 1890 to use the word 'Royal' in their name, thus changing the company's name to Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd. This large company acquired King Street, the only other porcelain factory in Derby, in 1935. Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd. continues to lead the porcelain industry today.

For collectors, the history of these companies is crucial to purchasing the right figurines. For instance, a collector of Royal Crown Derby figurines made by Nottingham Road, circa 1756-1848, has no interest in purchasing a 1937 figurine made by Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd. Shoppers can avoid such a mistake by analysing the year that the figurine was created or by looking at the Derby mark placed on every figurine.

2. The Derby Mark

There are ten Derby marks that are found on the various Royal Crown Derby figurines. Although only three companies in the porcelain industry hail from Derby, the Derby mark differs from owner to owner. This gives figurine collectors the ability to find more specific figurines from the desired time periods. Shoppers can use their knowledge of the various Derby marks to find true original pieces from the first company, Nottingham Road, or from Derby Crown Porcelain Co. when they began operations in 1876.


Time Frame

Derby Mark Features

Duesbury, Nottingham Road

1756 - 1770

Factory marks rarely applied before 1770, except for the occasional 'D' or 'Derby'

Duesbury, Nottingham Road

1775 - 1820

A crown with a cursive 'D' underneath for Duesbury

1784 crossed swords appear under ownership of William Duesbury II and used by Robert Bloor until around 1820

Robert Bloor, Nottingham Road

1825 - 1848

A crown with 'Bloor Derby' added

King Street

1848 - 1859

'Locker & Co. Late Bloor' on a ring reflects the new partnership of factory workers that began the new business after Nottingham Road's closure

King Street

1859 - 1863

A crown atop a circle reading 'Stevenson Sharp & Co.' after the death of William Locker

King Street (Stevenson and Hancock partnership, then for Sampson Hancock)

1863 - 1866

1866 - 1935

Reverted back to Duesbury-era mark, with an 'S' and 'H'

Intended as a tribute and connection to the original Nottingham Road company

Omaston Road of Derby Crown Porcelain Co.

1877 - 1890

The crown from the original Duesbury period with a different symmetrical embellishment underneath

Omaston Road of Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd.

1890 - 1964

The name change is signified by the more illustrious crown and the addition of 'Royal Crown Derby' above the company's first mark

Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd.

1940 - 1945

World War II-period porcelain shows a more utilitarian mark of a small logo with 'Royal Crown Derby' and 'Made in England' stamped underneath

Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd.

1964 - 1975

The original crown and emblem from 1877 between 'Derby China' and 'Royal Crown Derby

'English Bone China' in simplistic font

Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Ltd.

1976 - present

The crown and embellishment are surrounded by a circle of font reading 'Royal Crown Derby

'English Bone China'

These various marks help shoppers determine the time periods during which various Royal Crown Derby figurines were made, which may be a significant factor in personal collections. A solid understanding of the marks' meanings also gives shoppers an upper hand when analysing figurines for their authenticity.

3. The Art Movement

Not every porcelain figurine collector cares about the history of the pieces they collect as much as they care about the style or era that the porcelain figurines reflect. Various art movements are depicted in porcelain figurine history, and this means that Royal Crown Derby figurines can be found in different artistic styles. If this is important for the shopper, then knowing what art movement or style one likes is essential to successfully buying a figurine. The art movements are characterised by distinct stylistic differences.

Art Movement

Time Period



1870s - 1900s

Japanese-inspired motifs like flowers and birds with blue and red as popular colours

Very common to have one colour painted or printed on white background

Art Nouveau

1880s - 1920s

Inspired by flowers and plants for both design of the porcelain figurine and its painted art

Art Deco

1920s - 1950s

Rich in colour and strong geometry in designs

Motifs include repeated lines, rectangles, and chevrons


1930s - 1950s

Functional art inspired by scientific and technological progress of the time period

Minimalistic in decoration, while design is unorthodox


1950s - 1980s

Geometric and symmetrical designs often found in earthy tones

Characterises 'nostalgic' pieces that can no longer be considered modern

Knowing the artistic style or design that is preferred for porcelain figurines helps a buyer more effectively search for Royal Crown Derby figurines. The various art movements throughout history all correspond with specific timeframes.

4. Personal Budget

Because Royal Crown Derby figurines are treasured collectibles, they can be expensive investments. There are thousands of beautiful figurines available for sale, so establishing a fixed budget before browsing the possibilities is a sound financial decision. Royal Crown Derby figurines vary in price, depending completely on rarity and condition of the item. If a buyer desires to own one of the collectibles from Derby but does not want to spend the amount required for a true antique, Royal Crown Derby figurines that were sold more recently are less expensive alternatives. The brand, history, and artistry of a Royal Crown Derby figurine remains, but with a much more affordable price tag.

5. Collecting vs. Selling

There are two main purposes for purchasing collectibles like Royal Crown Derby figurines. The first reason is to build a beautifully prized collection. Collections can vary in theme and include rare items and sentimental pieces. Whatever one's preference for the collection, the intrinsic value of the desired collectibles may be different than the price tag. That being said, some collectibles may be out of one's price range, even though they are highly desired.

For collectors who wish to purchase Royal Crown Derby figurines for the purpose of reselling them for a profit, the figurines must be able to bring in more money than was initially spent on them. This type of buyer wants to find hidden treasures among collectibles at low prices, and more research must be put into the purchasing decision. Whether collecting or purchasing to resell, Royal Crown Derby figurines are excellent additions to any collection, and they are guaranteed to add value to one's assets.

Buying Royal Crown Derby Figurines on eBay

Whether purchasing only Nottingham Road-era Royal Crown Derby figurines or recently created figurines from Royal Crown Derby Ltd., Derby figurines can be purchased online using eBay's intuitive search tools. Shoppers can use the search box found on every page on eBay by inserting keywords like 'Royal Crown Derby figurine'' or ' King Street Derby'' to find the porcelain figurines they want to purchase. Shoppers can also specify budget restrictions to help them narrow search results. By specifying what they are looking for, eBay shoppers can use the search tools to focus on very specific product listings that appear in a matter of seconds.

Because porcelain figurines, especially antique ones, are expensive and fragile collectors' items, it is important that shoppers thoroughly research the reputations of sellers on eBay by looking at feedback remarks left by previous customers. Trusting the seller and the quality and authenticity of the product is essential to guaranteeing a satisfactory buying experience.


Royal Crown Derby figurines are excellent finds for many collectors. There are all sorts of Derby figurines to choose from, as the porcelain company dates back to the 1700s and has changed ownership several times. Some collectors may only be searching for porcelain figurines from a certain timeframe or that was made by a specific owner, or they may prefer pieces that depict the style of a particular art movement. Learning about these three factors helps shoppers successfully buy the Royal Crown Derby figurines they want.

Instead of scouring the area for a specific antique figurine in a brick and mortar antique shop, shoppers may be able to quickly find exactly what they are looking for by using eBay's database and search tools. Using this method, shoppers can also specify a budget to help them quickly locate only the items they can afford to purchase. Because Royal Crown Derby figurines are precious, historic, and culturally significant in the United Kingdom, the addition of a porcelain classic to a collection or to home decor makes for a beautiful and thoughtful gift or is an excellent find for an avid collector.

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