Royal Worcester Marks & Examples
The Worcester Porcelain Company was one of the earliest and became one of the most prominent of the UK ceramics companies founded in 1751. On June 24th 1862 it became The Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Limited, and it continues today, but is now part of the Portmeirion Group. We most commonly refer to this factory today as Royal Worcester and a museum remains at the original factory site: Museum Website
Originally Worcester produced blue and white porcelain imitating the Chinese imports along with polychrome ware and decorative pieces. As a company with a long heritage it has gone through many changes, some of the most significant often used by collectors to define the periods of Worcester production are as follows:Dr. Wall period 1751-1783
Flight Period 1783-1792
Barr and Flight & Barr 1792-1807
Barr, Flight & Barr 1807-1813
Flight, Barr & Barr 1813-1840
Chamberlains 1840-1852 (merger between FBB & Chamberlains)
Kerr & Binns (WH Kerr & Co) 1852-1862
Worcester Royal Porcelain Company Ltd (Royal Worcester) 1862 onwards
Worcester take over Hadley & Sons in 1905 and continue to use Hadley designs
Worcester became one of the most famous ceramic companies of all time supplying decorative and utility porcelain to royalty around the world. As with so much of the ceramics industry in the UK they struggled in the later 20th century with changing markets and commercial pressure from overseas factories. Today we can still relive the glory days of this once great factory through the wonderful artistry and craftsmanship of their historic pieces. To see our stock of Worcester click here.
Worcester porcelain comes in many styles, at Blue Cherry Antiques we concentrate on decorative and hand painted pieces from the 19th century to the mid 20th century. Below are examples in date order with their marks displayed to help you date and identify your Worcester pieces.
|Fine hand painted Worcester Flight Barr & Barr dish with hand painted exotic bird and gilded coral pattern c1825. Note the impressed crown and FBB clay mark to the 11 o'clock position in the mark.|
|Worcester Flight, Barr & Barr hand painted dish with pie crust rim c1830 with Prince of Wales printed mark and impressed clay mark.|
|Royal Worcester dragon handled vase of ewer shape with fine gilt work. Puce printed mark introduced in 1876. This mark used letters below the stamp to signify the year, here with date letter 'Z' for 1888|
|In 1891 the word England was added to the Worcester mark in response to the McKinley Tariff Act and a new system of date coding was introduced as per the table above.|
|Royal Worcester ivory glazed dolphin handled vase. Standard printed mark in puce introduced in 1891 - note the word 'England' added. This mark used tiny dots between the crown and text to denote the date (1891 no dots, 1892 one dot etc). Here the single date code dot is for 1892. The number in the rectangular box is the registered design number, a form of legal protection in the UK. The number 1578 below is the reference for the body shape, this shape was first introduced in 1892 and is listed as 'Dolphin Handled Vase' and was available in two sizes.|
|Royal Worcester blue Sabrina ware vase. Standard printed mark (in less common blue colour here) introduced in 1891 - note the word 'England' added. This mark used tiny dots between the crown and text to denote the date (1891 no dots, 1892 one dot etc). Here the date code dots are for 1896. The number 1854 below is the reference for the body shape, not a date.|
|Royal Worcester hand painted plate by Harry Davis. Variation of the standard mark for special 'Vitreous' wares. It still uses the same dot system for identifying the date and the word 'England' is also present. The date for this piece is 1902, early in the career of Davis who became most famous for painting sheep.|
|Royal Worcester hand painted plate by John Stinton. Standard printed mark in puce introduced in 1891 - note the word 'England' added. This mark used tiny dots between the crown and text to denote the date (1891 no dots, 1892 one dot etc) and continued with dots below the mark. Here the date code dots number 21 for 1912. Note the addition of the hand scripted title for the painting (Doune castle in Stirling, Scotland).|
|Royal Worcester Pekin pattern tyg. Standard printed mark in black. This mark used tiny dots between the crown and text to denote the date (1891 no dots, 1892 one dot etc) however this mark is anomalous. The registered design number below dates to 1913 so the piece cannot date to 1891 (with no dots), it was likely made within a few years of the registered design date. The hand scripted number to the right is the numeric designation of the 'Pekin' pattern.|
|Royal Worcester highland cattle vase by Harry Stinton. Standard printed mark in puce introduced in 1891. This mark used tiny dots to denote the date, when the number of dots became unwieldy they reset the count using a star instead, so a single star beneath the 'Worcester' denoted 1916, dots were then added annually going forward until 1927. This mark has the star and one dot dating to 1917. The number below is the reference number for the body shape.|
|Royal Worcester hand painted roses posy bowl. Standard printed mark in puce introduced in 1891. This mark has the star and two dots dating to 1918. Notice the 'H' under the mark which denotes this item comes from a Hadley & Co mould which Worcester took over in 1905. Items from the Hadley moulds are usually of a very high standard.|
|Royal Worcester hand painted vase with blackberries by Kitty Blake. Standard printed mark in puce introduced in 1891. This mark originally used tiny dots to denote the date then moved to stars and dots, then in 1928 moved to differing devices to indicate the date. This mark here has three circles indicating 1932 (note a single circle was never used). The 'G923' number below is the reference number for the body shape, with the G indicating the mould came from the Grainger factory acquired by Worcester in 1889.|
Royal Worcester full gold damask border plate by Freeman, this design also found with fruit and animals. Worcester printed mark in gold, this mark was introduced in 1956, note the 'Bone China' addition over previous marks. This mark does not have a date code and is found in a number of colours, the gold mark (which is real gold) was used on their most prestigious pieces.
Royal Worcester hand painted tropical fish plate designed by Ronald van Ruyckevelt. Worcester printed mark in gold, this mark was introduced in 1956, note the 'Bone China' addition over previous marks. In post war production it became increasingly common to add extra details to the standard mark specific to the range or piece such as here. This plate dates to the 1960's.