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During the reign of Queen Victoria, the Royal Worcester Porcelin company achieved great success. Manufacture was consolidated on the current factory site in 1840 and following a programme of major modernisation in 1862, the 'Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Limited' was formed. The Managing Director, Richard William Binns, was to lead the company until the end of the century and under his control the number of employees was increased from 80 to 800.
During the second half of the nineteenth century, Royal Worcester produced a new material, Parian, which was to revolutionise figure making. Dramatic steps were also taken to develop new decorative skills and techniques. Apprenticed at fourteen years old, boys were instructed in Anatomy and Botany and were encouraged to study old master paintings. They were taught skill such as gilding, groundlaying, printing and painting before specialising in one area, many traditions being passed down from father to son.
New decorative styles introduced included Painted Fruit, Blush Ivory ware and the perforated porcelain of George Owen with thousands of tiny holes cut out by hand, epitomising a dedication to excellence.
Many rich and extensive dinner services were also made during this period for the British Royal Family and the European Aristocracy including Queen Victoria and the Prince and Princess of Wales.
Royal Worcester was successfully displayed at major exhibitions of Art and Manufacture throughout the world, and in the tradition of Dr John Wall, every effort was made to surpass all technical and aesthetic thresholds. Unique exhibition pieces were created, such as the Norman Conquest Vases, the Potters' Vases and the giant Chicago Vase now on show at the Museum of Worcester Porcelain.
During the early years of the 20th century Royal Worcester took a traditional approach to shapes and decoration. Artists such as the Stinton family, Harry Davis and Frank Roberts produced meticulously painted Landscapes, Flowers and Fruit on richly gilded vases and decorative services. Superb table services continue to be made, many of which are special orders individually designed with crests or monograms, as in the past.
The policy of Dr Wall for artistic and technological innovation continues to the present day and has led to the production of a Fine Porcelain ideal for oven cooking. These newer products have been met by an increasing demand, resulting in a new, modern factory on the banks of the River Severn to satisfy the needs of customers today.
A profound technological revolution has taken place since the company first started its activity so many years ago. However, sensitivity to changes in taste has made Royal Worcester products throughout the years some of the most sought after by important collectors and museums all over the world.
2001 This year the factory celebrates its 250th anniversary and continuance of the glorious tradition of blending Art and rigorous craftsmanship to create the most exquisite range of products.
Royal Worcester no longer makes any pots de creme cups. The pieces found on the market today are all "vintage" or "antique". They had a very popular line in the 1970's and 1980's of "oven to table" cups made specifically for baking in the oven, in a water bath. This line was available in several patterns including Evesham which is a pattern still produced today for other dinnerware pieces.
The Royal Worcester fruit painters were a group of painters who specialised in depicting fruit on porcelain tableware. The tradition originated with the painter Octar H. Copson, who in 1880 painted a plaque commissioned by a local farmer to commemorate the introduction of the Pershore plum.