- Also known as
Derby Porcelain Factory
primary name: Derby Porcelain Factory
other name: William Duesbury & Co.
other name: Planché, Andrew
other name: Bloor, Robert
other name: Chelsea-Derby Porcelain Factory
other name: Derby China Company
other name: Derby China Factory
other name: Derby China Works
other name: Derby-Chelsea Porcelain Factory
other name: Duesbury & Co
other name: Duesbury, William
other name: Sampson, Hancock
- organisation; manufacturer/factory; English
- Other dates
- c.1748-1848 (in production)
- Nottingham Road, Derby
No.8, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London
- The Derby Porcelain Factory is believed to have been founded by the Huguenot, Andrew Planché in late 1747 or early 1748; another Huguenot, James Marchand may have joined him there. In the V&A there is an unsigned partnership agreement dated 1 January 1756 between Planché, William Duesbury (who ran a porcelain decorating business in London from 1751-1753) and a banker John Heath who provided finance. Planché left around this time leaving William Duesbury (1725-1786) in charge of the Derby factory which he enlarged.
Many notable artists (incl. Zachariah Boreman, James Banford and William Billingsley) and figure modellers (incl. John Bacon RA, Pierre Stephan and Nicholas Francois Gauron from Tournai) were employed at the Derby factory and at the Chelsea Porcelain factory which Duesbury acquired in 1770: hence Chelsea-Derby. Duesbury also opened a London showroom in Bedford Street, Covent Garden in 1774 (first agent William Wood, then Joseph Lygo) for which there is a draft trade card in the BM. The term 'Crown Derby' resulted from the grant of a royal warrant in 1775. Dr Johnson visited the Derby factory in 1777. Duesbury's son William Duesbury II (1763-1797) became joint manager in 1784 and he ran the factory after his father's death until with his own health failing he entered a partnership with Michael Kean in December 1795.
The 18thC Derby porcelains of particular note are the early 'dry-edge' figures; certain wares of the late 1750s and early 1760s decoratively painted with birds, cherries and moths; some of the biscuit porcelain figures of the Chelsea-Derby period and the years immediately succeeding it; and the best of the landscape and botanical painting in the closing decades of the 18thC.
Porcelain manufacture continued in the 19thC under the management of Robert Bloor (from 1715 until his health deteriorated in 1828, died 1846). The Nottingham Road factory closed in 1848. Shortly afterwards some of the former employees set up a new factory in King Street, Derby which continued in production until 1935 when it was acquired by the owners of Royal Crown Derby which started life in a new works at Osmaston Road in 1877 and was still operating in 2000.
Two trade cards in Heal Collection (P&D): Heal,98.3 advertises "Duesbury and Co: Porcelain Manufacturers To his Majesty, Bedford Street, Covent Garden, London."; Heal,98.4 and identical card in Banks Collection (D,2.1841) advertise "Duesbury & Co: Manufacturers of Derby & Chelsea Porcelain; most respectfully beg leave to inform the Nobility, Gentry & Public in General, that they have fitted up a large & elegant suit of Rooms at No.8 Bedford Street Covent-Garden; which are now opened with a great Variety of Capital as well as Useful and Ornamental Articles. A fine Assortment of Biscuit Groops [sic] and Single Figures; Also, A Curious Collection of Derbyshire Fluors [sic], Alabasters, Marbles, &c. N.B. The Rooms are well air'd." Trade card in Banks Collection (D,2.1892) advertises "Duesbury & Son Derby, Porcelain Manufacturers to His Majesty & His Royal Highness The Prince of Wales. N.B. The London Warehouse in Bedford Street, Covent Garden."
- Dennis Rice 'Derby Porcelain - The Golden Years 1750-1770' (Newton Abbot, Devon 1983);
Gilbert Bradley 'Derby Porcelain 1750-1798' (London 1990);
Elizabeth Adams 'Chelsea Porcelain' [incl.chapter on 'Duesbury and Company:Chelsea-Derby Wares and Figures'] (London 2001);
John Twitchett 'Derby Porcelain 1748-1848 An Illustrated Guide' (Woodbridge, Suffolk 2002)
Robin Blackwood 'An Illustrated Catalogue of Glazed White Porcelain from the King Street Factory, Derby' Parts One and Two, privately printed, 1997.
William Duesbury's London Account Book 1751-1753 (English Porcelain Circle monograph, London, 1931)