Royal Crown Derby Porcelain
The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is a renowned British porcelain manufacturer.
Brief History and Description
Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company was founded by English merchant, William Duesbury in partnership with French entrepreneur, Andrew Planche. The opening of their Chelsea Works porcelain factory in 1750 brought industrialization and prosperity to the small town of Derby. As the company’s figurines and tableware gained popularity, the skilled artists who were associated with the company also increased.
William Duesbury took over the rights to the Chelsea Works in 1770. In return of his efforts King George lll awarded Duesbury the honour of including His Majesty’s Crown in the factory’s back-stamp, thus giving the company the name Crown Derby.
William Duesbury died in 1786 leaving the company to his son William Duesbury ll. He proved to be an excellent leader, but his premature death in 1797 at the age of 34, left the company in disarray. William’s replacement, Michael Kean was unable to stop the company’s decline and many artists left Derby to work elsewhere. In an effort to regain its standing, William Bloor, known for his shrewd business sense came to the helm of affairs in 1811. New patterns and floral designs were introduced, along with the hiring of new artists.
In 1877, the new Osmaston Road factory heralded a new era for Derby Porcelain. The company was appointed as “Manufacturers of Porcelain to Her Majesty” by Queen Victoria in 1890, after which it came to be known as “Royal Crown Derby.” In 1964, S. Pearson and Company acquired Royal Crown Derby to become a part of Allied English Potteries Group.
Guide for Collectors
It is advised that collectors of RCD porcelain become a member of the Royal Crown Derby Collectors Guild. The fee for joining is £48.00 and the annual subscription fee is £38. Members enjoy a host of special benefits including a subscription to the quarterly RCD Collector magazine, which carries news of offers, new releases, promotions, special events, and imminent retirements. Members also get a complimentary entry to the Royal Crown Derby Visitor Centre and a free access to the museum enquiry service. Members also get a complimentary paperweight.
Two reference guides that would be of help to collectors of Royal Crown Derby paperweights are the Collector’s Guide to the Royal Crown Derby Paperweights and Collecting Royal Crown Derby Paperweights.
Notable Auction Sales
A Royal Crown Derby Christening Goblet dated 1910, was auctioned off at the Fine British Porcelain, Pottery & Glass Auction for £15,863 at Bonhams, New Bond Street on 5th March 2003
A Royal Crown Derby vase and cover dated 1897 and designed by Desire Leroy was auctioned off at the Fine British Porcelain, Pottery & Glass Auction for £10,800 at Bonham’s, New Bond Street on 8th September, 2003
A Royal Crown Derby Christening Goblet dated 1903 and designed by Thomas Amos Reed, was auctioned off at the Fine British Porcelain, Pottery & Glass Auction for £9,165 at Bonham’s, New Bond Street on 5th March, 2003
A Royal Crown Derby porcelain monogrammed part dessert and coffee service was auctioned off for $21,250 at Christie's, New York, on 14th April 2011.
A Royal Crown Derby coffee set was auctioned off for £7,800 at Christie's, London on 14th June 2006.
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