Chelsea Porcelain Factory (Biographical details)

Chelsea Porcelain Factory (manufacturer/factory; English; c.1744 - 1784)

Also known as

Chelsea Porcelain Factory; Chelsea-Derby Porcelain Factory; Derby-Chelsea Porcelain Factory; Gouyn, Charles

Address

Church Lane East, Chelsea & Lawrence Street, Chelsea

Biography

The Chelsea Porcelain factory was set up in the middle of the eighteenth century by two Frenchmen, the silversmith Nicholas Sprimont (q.v.) and the jeweller Charles Gouyn. Chelsea produced luxury soft paste porcelains for a rich, fashionable and aristocratic clientele, from the factory's establishment c.1744 until its destruction in 1784, some 15 years after Sprimont himself ceased to be associated with it. Many of the earliest pieces (c.1745-9) are marked with an incised triangle, the alchemical symbol for fire, including a BM piece also inscribed 'Chelsea' and '1745'. Later Chelsea pieces are often marked with a raised anchor (1750-2), a red anchor (c.1753-8) or a gold anchor (1759-72). After relinquishing full control of the Chelsea factory to Sprimont in around 1748, Gouyn is linked with the production of so-called 'Girl-in-a-Swing' porcelains (c.1750-59), which were sold in St James's Street. Ill health forced Sprimont to sell the Chelsea factory to James Cox in 1769. Cox in turn sold it to William Duesbury of Derby in 1770 resulting in the so-called 'Chelsea-Derby' or 'Derby-Chelsea' phase of production.

Bibliography

Elizabeth Adams 'Chelsea Porcelain' (BMP, London, 2001)