How to Buy Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines on eBay

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How to Buy Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines on eBay

Royal Doulton Bunnykins figurines have a long history. The Bunnykins characters were originally drawn by Barbara Vernon Bailey, the daughter of the managing director of Royal Doulton. Her drawings of Bunnykins characters first appeared on plates, bowls, and other ceramic nursery ware in 1934. By 1939, the Bunnykins figurines were being produced. They were quite popular from the start. Royal Doulton Bunnykins figurines, both the originals and the modern, have continued to be of interest to collectors all over the world.

Collectors interested in buying Bunnykins figurines on eBay should be aware of several things so that they can make fully informed decisions when buying a piece. First of all, collectors should understand the different years that Bunnykins figurines were produced. There were significant gaps in production years during the early days of the Bunnykins line. Collectors should also have an idea of how to identify the rare and collectible pieces available on eBay. Finally, collectors should know of a few different features to check on a figurine in order to judge appropriate pricing.

Eras of Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines

Royal Doulton has been producing Bunnykins figurines since the first half of the 20th century. In that time, there have been over 500 figurines made. With so many Bunnykins figurines, it can also be helpful to have a general idea of the different 'eras' involved, including the years in which the figurines were not produced. This can help collectors shape an understanding of the rarity of some items, including limited editions and older pieces that are still in good condition, which can be helpful when shopping on eBay.

Early Royal Doulton Bunnykins

As with most collectible items, Royal Doulton Bunnykins figurines retain a higher value the scarcer they are. The first Bunnykins figurines are an excellent example of scarcity driving up value. These figurines were first produced in 1939. They were modelled by the former Art Director at Royal Doulton, Charles Noke. The original figurines were Mother, Billy, Mary, Farmer, Reggie, and Freddie Bunnykins. Although they were widely popular, all Royal Doulton factory production stopped during World War II. While other Royal Doulton products were produced after the war, Bunnykins figurines did not come back into production until over 30 years later, a few years after the company took over the Beswick factory. The six figurines that had been introduced before production ceased are quite rare on eBay and considered highly collectible, garnering a high price when sold.

1970s to 1980s Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines

After the war, production of the Bunnykins figurines did not resume for some time. In 1972, the Royal Doulton factories began producing the Bunnykins figurines again. Albert Hallam, the original modeller for the Beatrix Potter series from Beswick, designed 12 new figurines. These figurines all bore the DB numbering system that is still used today. The numbering system goes in consecutive order from DB1 on, although there are a few gaps in the numbers.

There were a few figurines produced in 1973 and 1974, followed by a seven year hiatus. In 1981, modeller Harry Sales refreshed the Bunnykins line with figurines targeted to an adult audience. Mr. Bunnybeat Strumming and Astro Rocketman were two popular figurines, and sometimes these can be available on eBay, although they are quite rare.

21st Century Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines

In 2004, Royal Doulton shut down the last of its factories in the UK. Much of the production was moved overseas to Indonesia, Thailand, and China. This move affected many product lines, although Royal Doulton has always maintained that there is the same level of quality control no matter the country of origin. No matter where a Bunnykins figurine is produced, they are still designed and modelled by the talented staff of Royal Doulton.

eBay buyers concerned about where a Bunnykins figurine is made have some options. One is to check the bottom of the figurine; pieces should have a stamp noting where they are made. The eBay seller should be able to provide either a photo with the stamp or its description. Another option for eBay buyers is to find a list of numbered pieces that also note the origin of a figurine. These lists can be found in printed books but are also available from some collectors' websites.

Collectible Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines on eBay

While the Royal Doulton Bunnykins figurines that were produced in 1939 are very rare to find on eBay and also expensive, not all figurines found on eBay are as pricey. The cost of any Bunnykins figurine is tied to the limited nature of its production. There are some figurines that were in production for 25 years, while limited editions have production runs as small as 200. There was even a smaller production run of two. The Happy Millennium Bunnykins Tableau was produced in 2000.

Name

Years Produced

Notes

Bunnykins Oompah Band

after 1990

One run between 1984 and 1990; later limited editions sell for four times the cost.

Father Bunnykins

prototype

Rare prototype of an actual production run.

Collector Bunnykins

1987

Sold to Royal Doulton International Collectors Club.

Touchdown Bunnykins

1980s

Seven versions, some rarer than others.

Farmer Bunnykins

1939

One of the original issued Bunnykins figurines; can comment thousands of pounds if in good condition.

Lawyer

1980

2000 issued for Royal Doulton International Collectors Club.

Rock and Roll Bunnykins

1980

Only 1000 issued; valued more than a production run of 2000.

Arabian Nights

2002

1000 issued; produced for UK International Ceramics.

Royal Doulton International Collectors Club

The Royal Doulton International Collectors Club was established in 1980 as an organisation that was devoted to the interests of fans around the world. The Collectors Club did not specialise in Bunnykins, rather it covered the range of Royal Doulton collectibles. Their magazine, "The Gallery", was produced quarterly and often offered especially commissioned items, including Bunnykins figurines as well as other Royal Doulton products.

There were limited edition figurines that were originally sold exclusively to members, and can be identified by the stamp of the Club in addition to the DB numbering found on the bottom of the Bunnykins figurines. Although this club no longer exists, collectors of Bunnykins figurines can occasionally still find pieces from its limited editions on eBay. In addition, the magazine may still be a good resource for learning about Bunnykins.

Pricing a Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurine

Bunnykins figurines from Royal Doulton have been marked and numbered since they were first issued in 1972. Early pieces are quite rare on eBay, and are often signed by Barbara Vernon, the original artist who worked on the Bunnykins series. When looking at a Bunnykins piece for sale on eBay, collectors should always check the photo of the bottom of the figurine or ask the seller about it. The Royal Doulton seal as well as the DB number of the piece should be clearly marked. Oftentimes, there may also be the name and the year of production. However, if that information is missing, eBay buyers can look further to check when the DB number was in production. Of course, shorter production runs and limited editions of a figurine indicate a higher value.

Since Bunnykins figurines are collector's items, pieces in perfect condition are also valued more than pieces with any flaws. Both eBay buyers and sellers should note any chips or scratches when attempting to price a figurine. This helps in checking the figurine against a price guide.

Find Royal Doulton Bunnykins Figurines on eBay

Bunnykins figurines from Royal Doulton can range from affordable pricing to very expensive. In starting your search for figurines, you first need to decide on a budget. Once you have decided the maximum amount you wish to spend, you can begin your search by entering 'Bunnykins figurine' the search box on the homepage of eBay. Keep in mind that the rarer the figurine, the more expensive it is. If you do not already have information on the different Bunnykins figurines and their DB numbers, ask the seller who might be able to provide that information. This information can help you gauge a good price for the product.

Ceramic figurines can be very fragile. Once you have decided on one that you would like to purchase, you can check to see if you can find an eBay seller close to you by sorting your search results by distance. Some sellers may offer a local pick-up, which can also help you avoid postage fees.

Conclusion

Royal Doulton Bunnykins figurines have a devoted following of collectors all over the world. These collectors can be a good source of information regarding the age, rarity, and value of different figurines. When looking to buy or sell a figurine on eBay, collectors should have a good background understanding of the Bunnykins line. In the case of these rabbit-themed figurines, knowing which figurines came first can help in setting a good price for a piece. Also, knowing which figurines were produced in smaller runs and are therefore rarer is another means for understanding a reasonable price.

Finally, even though the Royal Doulton International Collectors Club is no longer active, their publication, "The Gallery", can be a good source of information on limited edition Bunnykins figurines that were produced solely for the club. Whether purchasing a Bunnykins figurine as a gift, starting a collection, or adding to one, understanding these things gives a buyer or seller enough information to find or sell any figurine on eBay.

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