Care & Repair;
A Royal Worcester figurine collection can be enjoyed indefinately as long as care is taken when handling and cleaning.
When dusting, in situ, a soft cosmetic brush or photographic lens brush is useful for getting into tight corners. When necessary, glazed figures should be washed in lukewarm water, using a mild liquid detergent, then rinsed thouroughly, and dried naturally or buffed gently with a soft cloth. It is important that water does not get inside the figure, so the hole in the bottom should be blocked up beforehand, perhaps with a cork or a rubber bung.
Care should be taken not to knock figures against the tap or against each other as this may cause chips or imperceptable cracks in the glaze which could open up at a later date.
If the worst does happen, a professional restorer should be consulted as they can work 'miracles' with damaged figures. Whether it be a small chip or a shattered body, pieces can be mended so that the repair is invisible to all but the most experienced eye.
It follows that when buying figures on the secondary market, it is advisable to check for restorations. The head, the arms and any projecting accessories are the most vunarable parts, so look at these areas carefully and in a good light.
Repaired cracks can be sometimes detected by looking inside the figure through the hole in the bottom. there are special ultraviolet lamps which highlight some types of restoration but these are not widely used, except by professionals.
Restored figures should be priced less than perfect examples, according to the amount of damage and the quality of the repair. Always enquire about the condition of a piece when buying, as a reputable seller will stand by any guarentees they give regarding condition or any restoration.
If you need help contacting a professional restorer, please send me an email via 'ask seller a question'.
Backstamps & Dating;
In general, mainly puce marks were used between 1900 and 1942, and from 1941 to the present black backstamps have been used exclusively. Green marks were used for the Boar War Soldiers series, and the First World War Soldiers. Blue marks were used for a few series only, and red marks are known to exist.
The basic marking system, for Royal Worcester, including the crest of four linked W's surmounted by a crown, originated in 1862. From 1891, the words ROYAL WORCESTER ENGLAND appear ringed around the crest. For every subsequent year through 1903 a dot is added near the crown, to the left side in even years, to the right in odd years.
In 1904 dots are placed beneath the crest as well, one for each year until 1915. In 1916 a star is used to replace all the dots that had accumulated, a single dot being added for each year thereafter until 1927.
- 1928 Small square
- 1929 Diamond
- 1930 Three horizontal lines
- 1931 OO (two circles)
- 1932 OOO (three circles)
- 1933 to 1938 Three circles and one dot
- 1939 Then a dot for each year
- B-1 1938 Three circles and 6 dots
- 1939 Three circles and 7 dots
- 1940 Three circles and 8 dots
- B-2 1941 Three circles and 9 dots
- 1942 Three circles and 10 dots
- 1943 The black mark with no date code
- 1944 Bone china in large letters
- 1945 to 1947 The black mark with no date code
- 1948 Bone china in small letters
- B-3 1949 Black mark with V
- B-4 1950 Black mark with W
- 1951 to 1954 Black mark with W and one
- 1955 dot added for each year
- B-5 1956 R and 6 dots
- 1957 R and 7 dots
- 1958 R and 8 dots
- 1956 to 1972 Black mark which may or may not have dots added for years
- 1988 Black mark with M inside a diamond (M replaces R)
- 1989 Black mark with N inside a diamond (N replaces M)
- 1900 to date Black mark with R inside a circle (Reverting back to the R inside a circle but with lithographer's numbers added to indicate the year)
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