Royal Worcester (British, founded 1750)

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Established in 1751, Royal Worcester is thought to be the oldest, or second oldest, English porcelain manufacturer still in existence. (Royal Worcester’s claim to age is disputed by Royal Crown Derby porcelain which states that it was established in 1750, although there is no conclusive evidence to favour either manufacturer’s assertion.)

Royal Worcester was founded by Dr John Wall and William David, who together developed a unique method for porcelain production. In the mid-18th Century, the pair persuaded a group of businessmen to invest in their new factory, and thus Worcester porcelain came into existence.

In 1788 the English King George III visited the firm, and granted the company a royal warrant. The firm then became known as the Royal Worcester Porcelain Works. The factory employed a host of exceptionally skilled craftsmen, one of whom was the famous English potter and artist James Hadley (1837-1903). Hadley worked at the Royal Worcester porcelain factory until 1895, having become the principal modeller there by 1870.