Portmeirion is a British pottery company based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Portmeirion Pottery began in 1960 when pottery designer Susan Williams-Ellis and her husband, Euan Cooper-Willis, took over a small pottery-decorating company in Stoke-on-Trent called A. E. Gray Ltd. Susan Williams-Ellis had been working with A. E. Gray for some years, commissioning designs to sell at the gift shop in Portmeirion Village, the items bearing the backstamp "Gray's Pottery Portmeirionware". In 1961, the couple purchased a second pottery company, Kirkhams Ltd, that had the capacity to manufacture pottery, not only decorate it; these two businesses were combined and Portmeirion Potteries Ltd was born. Susan Williams-Ellis' early Portmeirion designs included Moss Agate and Talisman. In 1963, she created the popular design Totem, an abstract pattern based on primitive forms coupled with a cylindrical shape, she created Magic City and Magic Garden, but arguably Portmeirion's most recognised design is the Botanic Garden range, decorated with a variety of floral illustrations adapted from Thomas Green's Universal or-Botanical and Agricultural Dictionary, looking back to a tradition begun by the Chelsea porcelain factory's "botanical" designs of the 1750s.
It was launched in 1972 and, with new designs added periodically, is still made today, the most successful ceramics series of botanical subjects. More recent designs have included Dawn Chorus. On 23 April 2009, Portmeirion Potteries Ltd purchased the Royal Worcester and Spode brands, after they had been placed into administration the previous November. Portmeirion Potteries has since changed its company name to Portmeirion Group to reflect this acquisition; the purchase did not include the manufacturing facilities of Royal Spode. The manufacture of much of Spode's ware was returned to Britain from the Far East, to the Portmeirion Group's factory in Stoke-on-Trent. In 2019 the Victoria and Albert Museum mounted an exhibition of Portmeirion pottery. Jenkins, Stephen, & Mckay, Stephen 2000. Portmeirion Pottery. Richard Dennis. ISBN 0-903685-78-7. Official website Resource website for Grays Pottery Portmeirion Pottery Collectors' Website
England is a country, part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Wales to Scotland to the north-northwest; the Irish Sea lies west of England and the Celtic Sea lies to the southwest. England is separated from continental Europe by the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south; the country covers five-eighths of the island of Great Britain, which lies in the North Atlantic, includes over 100 smaller islands, such as the Isles of Scilly and the Isle of Wight. The area now called England was first inhabited by modern humans during the Upper Palaeolithic period, but takes its name from the Angles, a Germanic tribe deriving its name from the Anglia peninsula, who settled during the 5th and 6th centuries. England became a unified state in the 10th century, since the Age of Discovery, which began during the 15th century, has had a significant cultural and legal impact on the wider world; the English language, the Anglican Church, English law – the basis for the common law legal systems of many other countries around the world – developed in England, the country's parliamentary system of government has been adopted by other nations.
The Industrial Revolution began in 18th-century England, transforming its society into the world's first industrialised nation. England's terrain is chiefly low hills and plains in central and southern England. However, there is upland and mountainous terrain in the west; the capital is London, which has the largest metropolitan area in both the United Kingdom and the European Union. England's population of over 55 million comprises 84% of the population of the United Kingdom concentrated around London, the South East, conurbations in the Midlands, the North West, the North East, Yorkshire, which each developed as major industrial regions during the 19th century; the Kingdom of England – which after 1535 included Wales – ceased being a separate sovereign state on 1 May 1707, when the Acts of Union put into effect the terms agreed in the Treaty of Union the previous year, resulting in a political union with the Kingdom of Scotland to create the Kingdom of Great Britain. In 1801, Great Britain was united with the Kingdom of Ireland to become the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.
In 1922 the Irish Free State seceded from the United Kingdom, leading to the latter being renamed the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. The name "England" is derived from the Old English name Englaland, which means "land of the Angles"; the Angles were one of the Germanic tribes that settled in Great Britain during the Early Middle Ages. The Angles came from the Anglia peninsula in the Bay of Kiel area of the Baltic Sea; the earliest recorded use of the term, as "Engla londe", is in the late-ninth-century translation into Old English of Bede's Ecclesiastical History of the English People. The term was used in a different sense to the modern one, meaning "the land inhabited by the English", it included English people in what is now south-east Scotland but was part of the English kingdom of Northumbria; the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle recorded that the Domesday Book of 1086 covered the whole of England, meaning the English kingdom, but a few years the Chronicle stated that King Malcolm III went "out of Scotlande into Lothian in Englaland", thus using it in the more ancient sense.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, its modern spelling was first used in 1538. The earliest attested reference to the Angles occurs in the 1st-century work by Tacitus, Germania, in which the Latin word Anglii is used; the etymology of the tribal name itself is disputed by scholars. How and why a term derived from the name of a tribe, less significant than others, such as the Saxons, came to be used for the entire country and its people is not known, but it seems this is related to the custom of calling the Germanic people in Britain Angli Saxones or English Saxons to distinguish them from continental Saxons of Old Saxony between the Weser and Eider rivers in Northern Germany. In Scottish Gaelic, another language which developed on the island of Great Britain, the Saxon tribe gave their name to the word for England. An alternative name for England is Albion; the name Albion referred to the entire island of Great Britain. The nominally earliest record of the name appears in the Aristotelian Corpus the 4th-century BC De Mundo: "Beyond the Pillars of Hercules is the ocean that flows round the earth.
In it are two large islands called Britannia. But modern scholarly consensus ascribes De Mundo not to Aristotle but to Pseudo-Aristotle, i.e. it was written in the Graeco-Roman period or afterwards. The word Albion or insula Albionum has two possible origins, it either derives from a cognate of the Latin albus meaning white, a reference to the white cliffs of Dover or from the phrase the "island of the Albiones" in the now lost Massaliote Periplus, attested through Avienus' Ora Maritima to which the former served as a source. Albion is now applied to England in a more poetic capacity. Another romantic name for England is Loegria, related to the Welsh word for England and made popular by its use in Arthurian legend; the earliest known evidence of human presence in the area now known as England was that of Homo antecessor, dating to approximate
Christopher Dresser was a designer and design theorist, now known as one of the first and most important, independent designers. He was a pivotal figure in the Aesthetic Movement and a major contributor to the allied Anglo-Japanese or Modern English style, both of which originated in England and had long-lasting international influence. Dresser was born in Scotland, of a Yorkshire family. At age 13, he began attending the Government School of Somerset House, London, he took botany as his specialization. He lectured on the new subject of Art Botany to complete his studies before his appointment in 1855 as Professor of Artistic Botany in the Department of Science and Art, South Kensington, he wrote a series of articles that appeared in the Art Journal in 1857, "Botany as Adapted to the Arts and Art Manufactures". In 1858 he sold his first designs. In 1850 the University of Jena, where Schleiden held the chair, granted a conventional doctorate to Dresser on his submission of his books Rudiments of Botany and Unity in Variety and a short paper on plant structure.
From this early date his design work widened to include carpets, furniture, graphics, including silver and electroplate, textiles printed and woven. He claimed to have designed "as much as any man" at the International Exhibition London 1862; as early as 1865 the Building News reported that in the early part of his career he had been active as a designer of wallpapers and carpets, the most active revolutioniser in the decorative art of the day. He wrote several books on design and ornament, including The Art of Decorative Design, The Development of Ornamental Art in the International Exhibition, Principles of Design, addressed in the preface to "working men". In 1899 The Studio magazine found it was possible to quote this book "page after page and not find a line, scarcely a word, that would not be endorsed by the most critical member of the Arts and Crafts Association today." In effect Dresser set the agenda adopted by the Arts and Crafts movement at a date. In 1873 he was requested by the American Government to write a report on the design of household goods.
En route for Japan in 1876 he delivered a series of three lectures in the Philadelphia Museum and School of Industrial Art and supervised the manufacture of wallpapers to his design for Wilson Fennimore. He was commissioned by Messrs Tiffany of New York to form a collection, whilst in Japan, of art objects both old and new that should illustrate the manufactures of that country. In four months in 1876/1877 Dresser travelled about 2000 miles in Japan, recording his impressions in Japan, its Architecture and Art-Manufactures, he represented the South Kensington Museum whilst in Japan, was received at court by the Emperor, who ordered Dresser to be treated as a guest of the nation – all doors were open to him. He was requested by the Japanese Government to write a report on'Trade with Europe', his pioneering study of Japanese art is evident in much of his work, considered typical of the Anglo-Japanese style. From 1879 to 1882 Dresser was in partnership with Charles Holme as Dresser & Holme, wholesale importers of Oriental goods, with a warehouse at 7 Farringdon Road, next door to those of the American inventor and abolitionist, Thaddeus Hyatt.
Between 1879 and 1882, as Art Superintendent at the Linthorpe Art Pottery in Linthorpe in Middlesbrough he designed over 1,000 pots. If his ceramic work from the 1860s onwards is considered, he must be amongst the most influential ceramic designers of any period. Much of his other work remains to be identified, although wallpaper designs for American, textiles for French and German manufacturers have been located. A significant Dresser collection is held by the Dorman Museum in Middlesbrough. A Heritage Lottery Funded project draws attention to this; some of Dresser’s metalwork designs are still in production, such as his oil and vinegar sets and toast rack designs, now manufactured by Alessi. Alberto Alessi goes so far as to say Dresser'knew the techniques of metal production better than any designer who has come to Alessi'. One of his Old Hall designs is thought to have inspired Alan Garner's 1967 novel The Owl Service. Unity in Variety, as Deduced from the Vegetable Kingdom. London: James S. Virtue.
1860. The Rudiments of Botany and Physiological. London: James S. Virtue. 1859. Popular manual of Botany. 1860. The Art of Decorative Design. Day & Son. 1862. Development of Ornamental Art in the International Exhibition General Principles of Art and Pictorial, with hints on colour, its harmonies and contrasts Principles of Decorative Design Studies in Design Japan, its Architecture and Art-Manufactures Modern Ornamentation Works by Christopher Dresser at Project Gutenberg Works by Christopher Dresser at Faded Page Works by or about Christopher Dresser at Internet Archive
Worcester is a city in Worcestershire, England, 31 miles southwest of Birmingham, 101 miles west-northwest of London, 27 miles north of Gloucester and 23 miles northeast of Hereford. The population is 100,000; the River Severn flanks the western side of the city centre, overlooked by Worcester Cathedral. The Battle of Worcester in 1651 was the final battle of the English Civil War, where Oliver Cromwell's New Model Army defeated King Charles II's Royalists. Worcester is known as the home of Royal Worcester Porcelain, composer Edward Elgar, Lea & Perrins, makers of traditional Worcestershire sauce, University of Worcester, Berrow's Worcester Journal, claimed to be the world's oldest newspaper; the trade route which ran past Worcester forming part of the Roman Ryknild Street, dates to Neolithic times. The position commanded a ford over the River Severn and was fortified by the Britons around 400 BC, it would have been on the northern border of the Dobunni and subject to the larger communities of the Malvern hillforts.
The Roman settlement at the site passes unmentioned by Ptolemy's Geography, the Antonine Itinerary and the Register of Dignitaries, but would have grown up on the road opened between Glevum and Viroconium in the 40s and 50s AD. The river crossing of the Severn at Worcester was the destination of the unfinished east-west Roman-dated road that ran from Magnis, until it disappeared from the historical record east of Stretton Grandison. Worcester may have been the "Vertis" mentioned in the 7th century Ravenna Cosmography. Using charcoal from the Forest of Dean, the Romans operated pottery kilns and ironworks at the site and may have built a small fort. There is no sign of municipal buildings. In the 3rd century, Roman Worcester occupied a larger area than the subsequent medieval city, but silting of the Diglis Basin caused the abandonment of Sidbury. Industrial production ceased and the settlement contracted to a defended position along the lines of the old British fort at the river terrace's southern end.
This settlement is identified with the Cair Guiragon listed among the 28 cities of Britain in the History of the Britons attributed to Nennius. This is not a British name but an adaption of its Old English name Weorgoran ceaster, "fort of the Weorgoran"; the form of the place-name varied as language and history developed over the centuries, with Early English and subsequent Norman French additions. At its settlement in 7th century by the Angles of Mercia it was known as Weogorna. After centuries of warfare against the Vikings and Danelaw it a centre for the Anglo-Saxon army or here known as Weogorna ceastre. At the time of Tenth Century Reformation to twelfth century, when scholasticism flourished it became approximated to its known linguistic origins as Wirccester; the county developed from the shire's name Wigornia from the Anglo-Norman period into the foundations of the Market Fairs during the Henrician and Edwardian parliaments. It was still known as County Wigorn in 1750; the Weorgoran were precursors of Hwicce and the West Saxons who entered the area some time after the 577 Battle of Dyrham.
In 680, their fort at Worcester was chosen—in preference to both the much larger Gloucester and the royal court at Winchcombe—to be the seat of a new bishopric, suggesting there was a well-established and powerful Christian community when the site fell into English hands. The oldest known church was St Helen's, British. Worcester appears in the historic records prior to the Viking era with reference to the church and monastic communities, showing evidence of extensive ecclesiastical ownership of lands. During King Alfred's reign, the earls of Mercia fortified Worcester "for the protection of all the people" at the request of Bishop Werfrith, it appears. A unique document detailing this and privileges granted to the church outlines the existence of Worcester's market and borough court, differentiation between church and market quarters within the city, as well as the role of the King in relation to the roads. Worcester's fortifications would most have established the line of the wall, extant until the 1600s excepting the south east area near the former castle.
It is referred to as a wall by contemporaries. Worcester was a centre of monastic church power. Oswald of Worcester was an important reformer, appointed Bishop in 961, jointly with York; the last Anglo-Saxon Bishop of Worcester, Wulfstan, or St Wulstan, was an important reformer, stayed in post until his death in 1095. Worcester became the focus of tax resistance against the Danish Harthacanute. Two huscarls were killed in May 1041 while attempting to collect taxes for the expanded navy, after being driven into the Priory, where they were murdered. A military force was sent to deal with the non-payment, while the townspeople attempted to defend themselves by moving to and occupying the island of Bevere, two miles up river, where they were besieged. After Harthacnut's men had sacked the city and set it alight, agreement was reached. Worcester was the site of a mint during the late Anglo-Saxon period, with seven moneyers in the reign of Edward the Confessor; this implies a middling role in trade for the city.
Worcester was, for tax purposes, counted within ru
William Billingsley (artist)
William Billingsley was an influential painter of porcelain in several English porcelain facories, who developed his own recipe for soft-paste porcelain, which produced beautiful results but a high rate of failure in firing. He is a leading name associated with the English Romantic style of paintings of groups of flowers on porcelain, sometimes called "naturalistic" by older sources, although that may not seem its main characteristic today, he trained in his home town of Derby, though his work reached the London market, all his many movements never took him further than the Midlands and South Wales, by the heart of the British porcelain-making industry, although wares were sent to London to be painted. His porcelain body was made by him at Pinxton and at the Nantgarw Pottery, which he founded in 1813 with his son-in-law, he had spent over twenty years at Derby porcelain, a period after 1808 at Worcester porcelain, ended his career at Coalport porcelain. Billingsley was born in Derby in 1758.
He was apprenticed at William Duesbury's Royal Crown Derby porcelain works for five years on 26 September 1774. He left them in 1796, by which time he was their outstanding painter of flowers, the mainstay of decoration. Billingsley developed a distinctive style of flower painting, which involved using a loaded brush and removing the colour using a dry brush, he was associated with borders of roses with the prime example of the Prentice Plate. This plate was used in the Derby factories to show trainees the standard, expected; the name of The Prentice Plate is a shortening of Apprentice Plate. Billingsley decided to leave Derby in 1795 despite protestations to the owner from Joseph Lygo, their London agent, that he was too valuable to lose, would carry his style to other factories: "his going into another factory will put them into the way of doing flowers in the same way, which they are at present ignorant of". After staying for 22 years at Derby, he was mobile for the remainder of his career.
He appears to have moved and worked at a number of different potteries. First he went to Pinxton, a small village in Derbyshire in October 1795 and superintended the erection of the Pinxton manufactory, with John Coke, he had become interested in improving the formula for soft-paste porcelain with the intention of exceeding the Sèvres soft-paste in beauty. In this he was swimming against the tide of the period, he stayed at Pinxton until 1799. It was by under the direction of a local landscape decorator, John Cutts who obtained employment as a decorator at the Wedgwood factory, its products are scarce and well sought after commanding good prices. Billingsley's further moves took him to Mansfield, operating only a painting workshop, about 1802 or 1803 to Torksey, where it has been claimed he made porcelain, as at the neighbouring village of Brampton, it is thought he first came into contact with the potter Samuel Walker there, who married Billingsley's daughter Sarah in 1812, when the group moved to Worcester porcelain.
Another supposed pottery he started, between 1804 and 1808, was at Wirksworth in Derbyshire. Before settling at Worcester, Billingsley approached a number of potteries in search of employment, including the Cambrian Pottery, Glamorganshire in 1807. Billingsley started at Royal Worcester in 1808 where he was instrumental in the firm's refinements of its porcelain recipe. While at Royal Worcester under Flight, Barr & Barr, Billingsley signed a contract preventing him from disclosing porcelain recipes, however no clause prohibited him from producing porcelain himself. In 1813 Billingsley took his porcelain recipes and lifetime's experience in the industry, along with his daughters Levinia and son-in-law Samuel Walker to Nantgarw, Wales, where he established the Nantgarw Pottery. Nantgarw Pottery was established in November 1813, when Billingsley & Walker purchased "Nantgarw House" on the eastern side of the Glamorganshire Canal, eight miles north of Cardiff in the Taff Valley and set about building the kilns and ancillary equipment, in its grounds, necessary to transform the building into a small porcelain pottery.
Billingsley and Walker had brought with them a total of £250 to invest in their project and by January 1814, the Quaker entrepreneur William Weston Young had become the major share-holder in their venture. It is assumed Young was acquainted with Billingsley through a mutual friend, fellow earthenware decorator Thomas Pardoe, whom Billingsley had approached at Swansea's Cambrian Pottery, while seeking employment in 1807. Young's work across Glamorganshire as a surveyor may have put him in the position to advise Billingsley, while still at Royal Worcester, of the suitability of the site at Nantgarw; the pottery was set up, but something of Billingsley & Walker's understanding of the recipe or manufacturing process was amiss, as 90% of the porcelain was ruined in the firing. The resources of the three associates soon ran out, the group approached the Committee of Trade and Plantations asking for a grant of £500, referring to the subsidy the French Government had given the famous Sèvres Porcelain Factory.
They were not successful. Dillwyn made the inspection, saw the ex
Armorial ware or heraldic china are ceramics decorated with a coat of arms, either that of a family, or an institution or place. Armorials have been popular on European pottery from the Middle Ages with examples seen on Spanish Hispano-Moresque ware, Italian maiolica, slipware and Dutch Delft, on porcelain from the 18th century. Earlier examples were large pieces such as jugs or basins and ewers, but whole table services, all painted with the arms, were produced. Silver tableware often had coats of arms engraved on it, but as porcelain replaced metal as the favoured material for elite tableware in the 18th century, armorial porcelain became popular; when overglaze decoration was used, the pottery could produce the glazed ware without the arms, which were added when a commission was received. The term is most associated, with Chinese export porcelain decorated with the arms and crests of European and American families from the late 17th century through the 19th century. A painting of the arms was sent out to China, after a considerable period the painted service arrived.
British clients imported about 4000 services from 1695 until 1820, when a new prohibitive tax stopped the trade, as the British government sought to protect the domestic potteries. They were, more are only used at table on special occasions, they are popular with collectors. 17th-century Dutch armorial plates are called "wapenborden" and were sold with recurring emblems that cannot be traced to any specific family. Goss crested china
Royal Crown Derby
The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturer, based in Derby, England. The company known for its high-quality bone china, having produced tableware and ornamental items since 1750, it was known as'Derby Porcelain' until 1773, when it became'Crown Derby', the'Royal' being added in 1890. The factory closed down in the past under Royal Doulton ownership, but production was revived under the renewed ownership of Hugh Gibson and Pearson family. In 1745 André Planché, a Huguenot immigrant from Saxony, settled in Derby, where between 1747 and 1755 he made soft-paste porcelain vases and figurines. At the beginning of 1756 he formed a business partnership with William Duesbury, a porcelain painter at Chelsea porcelain factory and Longton Hall, the banker John Heath; this was the foundation of the Derby company, although production at the works at Cockpit Hill, just outside the town, had begun before as evidenced by a creamware jug dated 1750 in the possession of the Victoria and Albert Museum.
Planché disappeared from the scene at once, the business was developed by Duesbury and Heath, Duesbury alone. A talented entrepreneur, Duesbury developed a new body which contained glass frit and calcined bone; this enabled the factory to begin producing high-quality tableware. He established Derby as a leading manufacturer of dinner services and figurines by employing the best talents available for modelling and painting. Figure painting was done by Richard Askew skilled at painting cupids, James Banford. Zachariah Boreman and John Brewer painted landscapes, still lifes, pastorals. Intricate floral patterns were painted by William Billingsley. In 1770, Duesbury further increased the high reputation of Derby by his acquisition of the famous Chelsea porcelain factory in London. From this point the Derby paste included bone ash, he operated the Chelsea factory on its original site until 1784, when he demolished the buildings and transferred the assets, including the stock and moulds, many of the workmen, to Derby.
Again, in 1776, he acquired the remainder of the prestigious Bow porcelain factory, of which he transferred the portable elements to Derby. In 1773, Duesbury’s hard work was rewarded by King George III, who after visiting the Derby works granted him permission to incorporate the royal crown into the Derby backstamp, after which the company was known as'Crown Derby'. In 1786, William Duesbury died, leaving the company to his son, William Duesbury II a talented director, who besides keeping the reputation of the company at its height, developed a number of new glazes and body types. William Duesbury II did not live to fulfil his promise: he died in 1797 at the age of 34 and the company was taken over by his business partner, an Irishman named Michael Kean, who married Duesbury's widow, he seems not to have enjoyed good relations with the skilled workforce, many eminent artists left. Others however produced good work under his management, including Moses Webster, a flower painter who replaced Billingsley, Richard Dodson, George Robertson and Cuthbert Lawton.
The best-known artist of this time was William Pegg, a Quaker, famed for his striking and idiosyncratic flower painting. He started in 1797 but his religious beliefs led him to the conclusion that painting was sinful and he left in 1800, he returned in 1813, but left again in 1820. Despite much good work, the Kean period was disruptive and the company suffered financially. William Duesbury III, born in 1790, son of William Duesbury II, took over the factory when he came of age, Kean having sold his interest to his father-in-law, William Duesbury's grandfather, named Sheffield, the concern continued under the name of Duesbury & Sheffield. In 1815, the factory was leased to the firm's salesman and clerk, Robert Bloor, the Duesburys played no further part in it. Bloor borrowed to be able to make the payments demanded but proved himself to be a able businessman in his ways of recouping losses and putting the business back on a sound financial footing, he possessed a thorough appreciation of the aesthetic side of the business, under him the company produced works that were richly coloured and elegantly styled, including brightly coloured Japanese Imari patterns featuring intricate geometric patterns layered with various floral designs.
These designs proved and lastingly popular, Derby continued to thrive. In 1845, Bloor died, after three years under Thomas Clarke, the Cockpit Works were sold and the factory closed in 1848. A group of former employees set up a factory in King Street in Derby, continued to use the moulds and trademarks of the former business, although not the name, so keeping alive the Derby traditions of fine craftsmanship. No mechanical processes were used, no two pieces produced were the same. Among the items preserved was the original potter's wheel of the Duesburys, still owned by the present Royal Derby Company. In 1877, an impressive new factory was built by new owners of the Crown Derby name in Osmaston Road, thus beginning the modern period of Derby porcelain. Crown Derby’s patterns became immensely popular during the late Victorian era, as their romantic and lavish designs met the popular taste of the period. In 1890, Queen Victoria appointed Crown Derby to be "Manufacturers of porcelain to Her Majesty" and by royal warrant granted them the tit