- Also known as
Worcester Porcelain Factory
primary name: Worcester Porcelain Factory
other name: Barr, Flight and Barr
other name: Chamberlain & Co
other name: Flight and Barr
other name: Flight, Barr and Barr
other name: Flights, Thomas, John and Joseph, Joseph and John Flight
other name: Kerr and Binns
other name: William Davis and Co
other name: Worcester Porcelain Company
other name: Worcester Porcelain Manufactory
other name: Worcester Royal Porcelain Company
- individual; manufacturer/factory; British
- Life dates
- Warmstry House, Worcester.
London warehouse initially in Aldersgate Street and later (certainly by the Flight Barr and Barr period early in the 19thC as reflected in a marked plaque) at 1 Coventry Street.
- The Worcester Porcelain Factory partnership agreement dates from 4 June 1751. Through various changes of ownership Worcester porcelain was in continuous production for the next 250 years. The original partners were Dr John Wall (who has given his name to the earliest or First period of production), William Davis (q.v.), Richard & Josiah Holdship, William Baylies, Edward Cave, Richard & John Brodribb, John Berwick, John Thorneloe, Edward Jackson, Samuel Bradley, John Doharty, Samuel Pritchett, and William Oliver. On 21 February 1752, Richard Holdship bought Benjamin Lund's Bristol porcelain factory including its process for manufacturing steatitic soft paste porcelain using soaprock, production of which was transferred to Worcester. A London Warehouse was established at Aldersgate Street and a later one at 1 Coventry Street. Shortly before his death in 1776 Dr Wall sold his shares to William Davis with the firm continuing to trade as William Davis & Co. Davis sold out in 1783 to their London agent Thomas Flight who bought the factory on behalf of his sons Joseph and John Flight. From 1788, Flights faced competition from a new Worcester porcelain manufacturer Chamberlains (the Chamberlains had been in charge of decorating at Flights) as well as from Thomas Turner's Caughley. With the death of John Flight in 1791, his brother Joseph was partnered by Martin Barr in the new firm of Flight and Barr from 1792. As Barr's sons joined the firm became in turn Barr, Flight and Barr in 1804 and from 1813-1840 Flight, Barr and Barr. A third Worcester porcelain maker Thomas Grainger & Co began manufacturing in 1806 supplying the lower end of the market. With the death of Joseph Flight in 1838, George and Martin Barr junior were forced into alliance with Walter Chamberlain to salvage their two firms. The merged firm of Chamberlain and Co formed in 1840 was not successful until following the retirement of Walter Chamberlain, when no member of the Chamberlain family was left in the firm. W H Kerr and Richard William Binns rebuilt its fortunes initially as Kerr and Binns in 1852 and it became known as the Worcester Royal Porcelain Company in 1862. The Worcester Royal Porcelain Company went into administration on 6 November 2008 and its last day of trading was 14 June 2009 following the acquisition of the brand name and intellectual property (but not the manufacturing facilities) by the Portmeirion Pottery Group which has a factory in Stoke-on-Trent.
Bill-head in Heal Collection (Heal,98.4+) states "Royal Worcester Porcelain Works Established 1751. To Flight, Barr & Barr, Manufacturers to their Majesties and the Prince Regent..." The bill is dated "17th Oct. 1828." Heal's annotations on mount: "Thomas Flight bought the Worcester Works from Dr. Wall in 1783 for his two sons Joseph & John Flight. In 1786 Martin Barr joined Joseph Flight - Flight & Barr. In 1807 Martin Barr Junr. was taken into partnership - Barr, Flight & Barr. The London warehouse at No.1 Coventry St. was started in 1807."Trade card in Banks Collection (Banks,98.11) advertises "Royal China Manufactory, Worcester, Established 1751. Flight & Barr. Joseph Flight No.1 Coventry Street London. Martin Barr No.45 High Street Worcester. Manufacturers to their Majesties and the Royal Family." Banks (D,2.1839) advertises "Flight and Barr, Proprietors of the Worcester Porcelain Works, Established 1751. Manufacturers to their Majesties & the Prince Regent. London Warehouse, No.1. Coventry Street." Banks (D,2.1853) advertises "Flight and Barr, Proprietors of the Worcester China Manufactory, Established 1751. No.45 High Street, Worcester, & No.1. Coventry Street, London. Manufacturers to their Majesties . The only Warehouse in London for the Porcelain of the Manufactory of his Royal Highness the Duke D'Angouleme at Paris." Trade card in Banks Collection (D,2.1857) advertises "Chamberlain's Worcester Porcelain Manufacturers by Special Appointment To their Royal Highnesses the Prince Regent, Princess Charlotte & Royal Family..." Banks (D,2.1872 and D,2.3290) advertises "Flight, Barr and Barr, Proprietors of the Worcester Porcelain Works, Established 1751. Manufacturers to their Majesties & the Prince Regent..." Banks (D,2.1895) advertises "Flight and Barr, Proprietors of the Worcester China Manufactory, Established 1751. No.45 High Street, Worcester, & No.1. Coventry Street, London. Manufacturers to their Majesties. For admission Cards to view the Manufactory apply at No.45 High Street Worcester." Banks (D,2.3292) advertises Chamberlain's Worcester Porcelain Manufacturers..."
- R.W. Binns, 'A Catalogue of a Collection of Worcester Porcelain in the Museum of the Royal Porcelain Works', Worcester 1882.
R.W. Binns, 'Worcester China. A Record of the Work of Forty-five Years, 1852-1897', London 1897.
H. Sandon, 'Royal Worcester Porcelain from 1862 to the Present day', London 1973.
Lawrence Branyan, Neal French and John Sandon 'Worcester Blue and White Porcelain, 1751-1790' (Barrie and Jenkins, London, 1981, 1989 2nd enlarged)
John Sandon 'The Dictionary of Worcester Porcelain Volume 1, 1751-1851' (Antique Collectors' Club, Woodbridge, 1993)
Aileen Dawson 'The Art of Worcester Porcelain' (BMP, London, 2007)