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      Dating Royal Doulton Figurines today could not be more easy with the additional cyphers they started adding to the backstamps in the late 1990s to the backstamps. The earlier pieces it can get a bit tricky as there is so little information out there that is accurate and from I have found a lot of wrong information. 

      This section will deal only with the HN# line and not the earlier stoneware figurines , most of which the dating of those can be found in the Burslem and Lambeth Sections in this website. 

      The HN# line began in 1915 with the very first Figurines called Darling, almost all of the backstamp other than the crown and lion was hand written on as you can see from the photo below. This style of markings was used until the late 1940s, with small variations, early pieces will have the artists names. When the practice of dropping the artist name was stopped is unknown. 

       

      Royal Doulton Backstamp - Potted By Example- William Cross

      Most pieces that you will come across will look like this one below , 

      Early HN Number/Backstamp Example Royal Doulton - William Cross

      Or like this one below and above , with the lion backstamp with the missing crown 1930-1940 . 

      Royal Doulton Figurine Backstamp 1915 to 1940 Example - William Cross

      The practice of adding a Registered number was started in 1932 and was used up into the late 1950s 

      Royal Doulton Figurine Backstamp 1932-1945 - William Cross

      Royal Doulton Figurine Backstamp 1932-1945 (above)

      Royal Doulton Backstamp 1945-1959 Example - William Cross

      backstamp 1945-1959 (above)

      From 1927 to about 1958 on some pieces a date code was added to upper right hand side of the crown and lon back stamp. Starting with 1927 being 1, if you add that number to 1927 you can tell the exact year the piece was produced. Sadly this practice was dropped sometime in the very late 1950s. (see example below, 1942) 

      Royal Doulton Backstamp Example Date Code for 1942 - William Cross

       

      In the 1960s we start to see the dropping of the registered marks  and the crown and lion backstamp and the name and HN# typed in (transfer), like this one below, 

      Doulton Backstamp 1960 - William Cross

      In the 1970 and 1982 a copyright date appears under the name, usually the following year was the actual issue date. 

       Royal Doulton Backstamp 1970 to 1982 - William Cross

      In early 1980s the backstamp changed again to this style below , which was used up into 1998. 

      Royal Doulton Figurine Backstamp Example 1983- 1998 - William Cross

      In 1999 Royal Doulton started a wonderful practice of adding a cypher symbol to the bottom of each new figurine, They are as follows, 

       Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 1999 Top Hat
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2000 Stopwatch 
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2001 Waistcoat, appears on 2002 Figures
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2002 Boot 
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2003 Gloves
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2004 Bottle Oven
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2005 Henry Doulton Profile 
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2006 Crown
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2007 Lion 
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 4 ds 2008
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2009 Angel
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2011 Unicorn 
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2012 Flower
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2013
      Royal Doulton Figurine Cypher Date Code - William Cross 2014