Royal Dux figurines are very attractive and highly collectable. Some might view them as being a little ‘old fashioned’ but because of their quality and variety they still have a strong and dedicated following.
The Royal Dux factory was founded in 1853. But in 1860 it was acquired by Eduard Eichler, an expert model drawer, who decided to change its name to E. Eichler Thonwaren-Fabrik.
In the beginning, the company primarily focused on the manufacture of faience and majolica items for which it was awarded the Silver Medal at the 1878 Paris Exhibition. Then as the end of the 1800’s approached, Royal Dux started to manufacture an extensive range of porcelain figures in what became known as the Art Nouveau style.
This became a successful venture for the Bohemian factory and the company expanded, establishing a head office in Berlin.
Many of the original Art Nouveau figurines were designed by the talented, Alois Hampel who produced some truly stunning figures and figure groups. Soon the Royal Dux Company began to export them throughout Europe and the United States.
With the increasing interest in all things Art Nouveau and Art Deco, these Royal Dux figurines are now much sought after and high prices are often paid by the avid collector. Pieces are regularly sold at national auctions with the more rare and valuable items often featuring at the sales of the major, international auction houses.
Interestingly, before the Nazi occupation in 1938, Royal Dux is said to have produced over 11,000 different moulds and had an established export market to many countries worldwide.
Unfortunately, much of the archive information about the company and its history has been lost or “misplaced.” Old company catalogs and sales information are now very scarce and the majority of the original moulds have been destroyed.
The demise of the Communist regime in the 1990’s has been a mixed blessing for the Royal Dux factory.
Some initial, general chaos and strident management changes is said to have caused a lack of accountability and allegedly a degree of fraudulent misappropriation of stock and other assets.
However, with the company now in private ownership, Royal Dux is successfully building its own sales and marketing strategies and re-establishing its previous, and well deserved, high reputation.
Some of the rare, surviving moulds, dating from before the Second World War, have now been reintroduced for production.
Modern glazing techniques have also been incorporated into the manufacturing process and the Royal Dux Company has shown a determination to establish itself within the buoyant collectors market as a producer of high quality ceramics.