DERBY (UK) - some history:
Contributed by: www.Marks4Antiques.com
The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company can
trace its history back to the Golden Age of English Porcelain in the mid 18th
The first porcelain factory in Derby, was established by Andrew Planche in 1750.
His fine porcelain figures led him to become acquainted with William Duesbury,
an ambitious and astute craftsman, who became the guiding light in a very
successful partnership, producing china of the finest quality.
By 1770, William Duesbury had acquired the famous Chelsea China Works, (Bow,
London) and its molds, which resulted in the gradual transfer of a number of
extremely skilled craftsmen to Derby. It wasn't long before Duesbury could claim
that his Derby factory was the 'second Dresden'.
In 1773, the opening of a London Showroom marked the beginning of the widespread
recognition of the excellence of Derby porcelain. King George III recognized the
uniqueness of Derby porcelain in 1775 when he granted the factory the rare honor
of being able to incorporate a crown into the backstamp.
William Duesbury died in 1786, and was succeeded by his son, William Duesbury
II, who entered into a partnership with Irishman, Michael Kean. The factory
assembled the most talented group of ceramic artists such as BOREMAN (watercolor
landscapes); ASKEW and BANFORD (figure painters); WITHERS, BILLINGSLEY and PEGG
(flower painters). After W. Duesbury II died in 1797, the business continued for
some years under the name of Duesbury & Kean.
In 1811 Robert Bloor bought the Derby factory
and for the next few years the fortunes of the company were at a low ebb. The
original works were closed in 1848 however, a small group of devoted artists and
work people continued to make beautiful wares in the old tradition in Derby.
In 1877 the new Derby factory was established and once again its fame spread
both at home and abroad. A celebrated artist of the period was M. Desire Leroy
who established a studio dedicated to creating new standards in gilding and hand
painting. His most senior and talented student, Mr. Albert Haddock, was senior
gilder at Derby until 1966 and he in turn encouraged and trained the next
generation of artists to maintain the matchless skills of Royal Crown Derby.
In 1890, Queen Victoria gave Crown Derby her
seal of approval not only by appointing them “Manufacturers of Porcelain to Her
Majesty”, but also by granting the title "The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain
Today, in modern well planned premises Royal Crown Derby is made with the same
meticulous care and dedicated artistry which Duesbury inspired over 200 years
ago. The Company also runs a popular Visitor Center onsite, providing factory
tours, demonstrations, a museum and factory shop.