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Derby Porcelain in the 18th and early 19th centuries
1740 - 1840 (c.)
Image: Derby Oval Dish, c 1760. The dish has a moulded trellis border painted with butterflies. The centre is painted with fruit and insects.
Image from: Bantock House, Wolverhampton
Text: Olga Baird
Derby, like Worcester and the Potteries district of North Staffordshire was home to an important centre of ceramics manufacture during the 18th and early 19th centuries. Under its first “china maker” André Planche, the Nottingham Road factory produced ornamental ware such as vases and figures because the soft paste that was used could not withstand boiling water and was therefore unsuitable for tableware. The paste, though, was ideal for delicate modelling and the Derby factory produced highly decorated pieces imitating French Rococo and other continental styles as well as scenes which reflected British rural and theatrical life. In the 1756, Planche entered a partnership with William Duesbury and the business developed a new paste which contained glass, soaprock and calcined animal bone. This enabled the factory to produce high-quality tableware.
This article by Olga Baird explores the origins of Crown Derby Porcelain and presents several examples of the ornamental products and tableware produced by the factory from the 1750s until the 1820s. The images in the exhibition are taken from slides of items held by Derby Museum & Art Gallery (www.derby.gov.uk/museums).
Sections [Click on the images on the right to access each section]
1. Derby Porcelain: André Planche and William Duesbury
2. Derby Porcelain: William Duesbury II and Robert Bloor
3. Pastoral Group, c.1770.
4. Candelabrum, c. 1755-60
5. The Four Quarters (Continents), c.1775
6. Tithe Pig Group, c.1765-70
7. The “Welsh” Tailor, c.1770
8. James Quin as Falstaff, c. 1825
9. Edmund Kean as Richard III, c.1815
10. Virgins Awakening Cupid, c.1780
11. Frill Vase and Cover, c.1760
12. Blue & White Table Centre in two parts, c.1760
13. Ice Pail, c.1796-1800
14. Pot-Pourri, c.1800-1810
15. William Pegg’s Thistle Dish, c.1800
16. Dish, c.1800
17. Dessert Plate, c.1813-1820
18. William Billingsley’s Prentice Plate, 1790-1795
19. Dessert Dish, c.1790
20. A Dessert Plate from the Trotter Service, c.1825
21. Dessert Plate (Imari)
22. Coffee Can, c.1793-4
23. Teapot, c.1795
24. Teapot, c.1795
25. Chocolate Mug with Cover, c.1800
Sources and Further Reading
Barret, F A and Thorpe, A L. Derby Porcelain (London, 1971)
Bradshaw, P, Derby Porcelain Figures 1750-1848 (London, 1990)
John W, William Billingsley 1758-1828 (1968)
Murdoch, J and Twitchett, J, Painters and the Derby China Works (987)
Rice, D, Derby Porcelain – The Golden Years (1983)
Sargeant, M, Royal Crown Derby (Princes Risborough, 2000)
Twitchett, J, Derby Porcelain (London, 1980)
Twitchett J. and Sandon H, Landscapes on Derby and Worcester Porcelain (1984)
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