Coalport, Shropshire, England was a centre of porcelain and pottery production between about 1795 ("inaccurately" claimed as 1750 by the company)and 1926, with the Coalport porcelain brand continuing to be used up to the present. The opening in 1792 of the Coalport Canal, which joins the River Severn at Coalport, had increased the attractiveness of the site, and from 1800 until a merger in 1814 there were two factories operating, one on each side of the canal, making rather similar wares which are now often difficult to tell apart.
Both factories made mostly tablewares that had elaborate overglaze decoration, mostly with floral subjects. A further round of mergers in 1819 brought moulds and skilled staff from Nantgarw porcelain and Swansea porcelain to Coalbrook, which continued to thrive through the rest of the century. The Coalport factory was founded by John Rose in 1795; he continued to run it successfully until his death in 1841. The company often sold its wares as Coalbrookdale porcelain, especially the pieces with flowers modelled in three dimensions, and they may be called Coalport China.
Rose employed William Billingsley, formerly at Nantgarw, as chief painter, and Billingsley's chemist, Walker, who initiated at Coalport a maroon glaze and brought the Nantgarw technical recipes to Rose at Coalport.
Coalport and Coalbrookdale specialised in dinner services. The familiar "Indian tree" pattern, which is based in fact on Chinese rather than Indian prototypes, was originated at Coalport;variants have been produced by virtually all the British manufacturers of table wares and continue to be available today. Models that originated at Meissen and Sèvres were copied at Coalbrookdale in the mid-19th century, sometimes with misleading marks, "a practice which ought to have been avoided", William Chaffers observed. Sprigged floral encrusted decoration was also typical of Coalport wares, such as vases, small boxes and table baskets.
In 1820 Rose received the gold medal of the Society of Arts for his feldspar porcelain and an improved, lead-free glaze, with which the enamel colours fused in firing.Favourite patterns were the "worm sprig" and the "Tournai sprig" introduced by Billingsley at Pinxton, the Dresden-inspired "Berlin china edge", and the blue transfer willow pattern and blue dragon pattern.
During the 1830s the factory initiated the practice of applying a light transfer printed blue outline, to guide the painters. This preserved some of the freedom of hand-painted decoration, while it enabled Rose to keep up the pace of production.The technique was widely adopted by other manufactories during the 19th century.
At The Great Exhibition (London 1851) an elaborate Coalport table service with deep borders of mazarin blue was shown; it had been commissioned by Queen Victoria as a gift to Tsar Nicholas I of Russia.
In the second half of the 19th century the Coalport manufacturers added yet another specialisation to their repertoire of hand decorated porcelains. They developed the technique called “jewelling” whereby small beads of coloured enamel were applied most often to a gold ground. According to the auctioneers Skinner Inc, it is thought this was first developed and introduced by the Worcester porcelain factory in the mid 1860s. Turquoise seemed to be the prevalent colour, meticulously and uniformly decorating tea wares, useful wares and ornamental wares, often accompanied by a rich raised gold decoration. They were produced for sale in Britain and abroad. Two examples can be seen below.
The Coalport porcelain manufactory, the first porcelain factory in the Ironbridge Gorge, England, was founded by the practical and enterprising John Rose in 1795. Financial support was provided by Edward Blakeway (1720-1811). John Rose had probably trained at the Caughley porcelain manufactory, less than a mile away on the other side of the Severn, and had been making pottery on his own account nearby at Jackfield, a mile upstream across the Severn from Coalbrookdale, since about 1793.In 1799 Rose took over the Caughley factory, continuing production there, at least of the biscuit stage, moving the wares to be decorated at Coalport.
From 1800-1814 Rose's brother Thomas operated a small works on the other side of the canal, initially with William Reynolds (d. 1803), an industrialist, and Robert Horton. After Reynolds' death his cousin Robert Anstice became a partner. They were taken over by J. Rose & Co. in 1814The same year John Rose moved the Caughley production the short distance to the Coalport site.
Rose's rapid success enabled him to buy the Nantgarw porcelain manufactory in 1819 and the Swansea porcelain manufactory, with their repertory of moulds.
John Rose died in 1841; the enterprise was continued under the former name "John Rose & Co." by his nephew W.F. Rose and William Pugh. William Pugh continued the production as sole proprietor from 1862 until his death in 1875, after which the company was put in receivership by his heirs. It was purchased in 1880by the East Anglian engineer Peter Bruff (d.1900), who reinstated it as the Coalport China Company. Under the management of his son Charles Bruff from 1889, an extensive export trade to the United States and Canada was initiated in the 1890s, and the works were rebuilt on the original site in 1902.
During the 1920s it fell again into financial difficulties and was eventually taken over by the Cauldon Potteries, Ltd., of Shelton, Staffordshire, in 1925.In 1926 production moved to Staffordshire, the traditional centre of the ceramics industry in Britain, and, although the Coalport name was retained as a brand, in 1967 the company became part of the Wedgwood group.
Llewellynn Jewitt published a History of the Coalport Porcelain Works in 1862. The standard modern monographic history is Geoffrey A. Godden, Coalport and Coalbrookdale Porcelain (London 1970).
The original manufactory buildings now houses the Coalport China Museum, as well as a Youth Hostel, cafe, artists' studios and a handmade arts & crafts shop.
Porcelain is a ceramic material made by heating materials, generally including a material like kaolin, in a kiln to temperatures between 1,200 and 1,400 °C. The toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain, relative to other types of pottery, arises mainly from vitrification and the formation of the mineral mullite within the body at these high temperatures. Though definitions vary, porcelain can be divided into three main categories: hard-paste, soft-paste and bone china. The category that an object belongs to depends on the composition of the paste used to make the body of the porcelain object and the firing conditions.
The Ironbridge Gorge is a deep gorge, containing the River Severn in Shropshire, England. It was first formed by a glacial overflow from the long drained away Lake Lapworth, at the end of the last ice age. The deep exposure of the rocks cut through by the gorge exposed commercial deposits of coal, iron ore, limestone and fireclay, which enabled the rapid economic development of the area during the early Industrial Revolution.
Spode is an English brand of pottery and homewares produced by the company of the same name, which is based in Stoke-on-Trent, England. Spode was founded by Josiah Spode (1733–1797) in 1770, and was responsible for perfecting two extremely important techniques that were crucial to the worldwide success of the English pottery industry in the century to follow.
Soft-paste porcelain is a type of ceramic material in pottery, usually accepted as a type of porcelain. It is weaker than "true" hard-paste porcelain, and does not require either the high firing temperatures or the special mineral ingredients needed for that. There are many types, using a range of materials. The material originated in the attempts by many European potters to replicate hard-paste Chinese export porcelain, especially in the 18th century, and the best versions match hard-paste in whiteness and translucency, but not in strength. But the look and feel of the material can be highly attractive, and it can take painted decoration very well.
Chelsea porcelain is the porcelain made by the Chelsea porcelain manufactory, the first important porcelain manufactory in England, established around 1743–45, and operating independently until 1770, when it was merged with Derby porcelain. It made soft-paste porcelain throughout its history, though there were several changes in the "body" material and glaze used. Its wares were aimed at a luxury market, and its site in Chelsea, London, was close to the fashionable Ranelagh Gardens pleasure ground, opened in 1742.
Coalport is a village in Shropshire, England. It is located on the River Severn in the Ironbridge Gorge, a mile downstream of Ironbridge. It lies predominantly on the north bank of the river; on the other side is Jackfield.
Meissen porcelain or Meissen china was the first European hard-paste porcelain. Early experiments were done in 1708 by Ehrenfried Walther von Tschirnhaus. After his death that October, Johann Friedrich Böttger continued von Tschirnhaus's work and brought this type of porcelain to the market, financed by Augustus the Strong, King of Poland and Elector of Saxony. The production of porcelain in the royal factory at Meissen, near Dresden, started in 1710 and attracted artists and artisans to establish, arguably, the most famous porcelain manufacturer known throughout the world. Its signature logo, the crossed swords, was introduced in 1720 to protect its production; the mark of the swords is reportedly one of the oldest trademarks in existence. In English Dresden porcelain was once the usual term for these wares, especially the figures; this is because Meissen is geographically not far from Dresden which is the Saxon capital.
Royal Worcester was established in 1751 and is believed to be the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain brand still in existence today. Part of the Portmeirion Group since 2009, Royal Worcester remains in the luxury tableware and giftware market, although production in Worcester itself has ended.
Liverpool porcelain is mostly of the soft-paste porcelain type and was produced between about 1754 and 1804 in various factories in Liverpool. Tin-glazed English delftware had been produced in Liverpool from at least 1710 at numerous potteries, but some then switched to making porcelain. A portion of the output was exported, mainly to North America and the Caribbean.
Bristol porcelain covers porcelain made in Bristol, England by several companies in the 18th and 19th centuries. The plain term "Bristol porcelain" is most likely to refer to the factory moved from Plymouth in 1770, the second Bristol factory. The product of the earliest factory is usually called Lund's Bristol ware and was made from about 1750 until 1752, when the operation was merged with Worcester porcelain; this was soft-paste porcelain.
The Nantgarw China Works was a porcelain factory, later making other types of pottery, located in Nantgarw on the eastern bank of the Glamorganshire Canal, 8 miles (13 km) north of Cardiff in the River Taff valley, Glamorganshire, Wales. The factory made porcelain of very high quality, especially in the years from 1813-1814 and 1817-1820. The body was extremely white and translucent, and was given overglaze decoration of high quality, mostly in London or elsewhere rather than at the factory. The wares were expensive, and mostly distributed through the London dealers. Plates were much the most common shapes made, and the decoration was typically of garlands of flowers in a profusion of colours, the speciality of the founder, William Billingsley. With Swansea porcelain, Nantgarw was one of the last factories to make soft-paste porcelain, when English factories had switched to bone china, and continental and Asian ones continued to make hard-paste porcelain.
William Billingsley (1758–1828) was an influential painter of porcelain in several English porcelain factories, who also developed his own recipe for soft-paste porcelain, which produced beautiful results but a very 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 that is sometimes called "naturalistic" by older sources, although that may not seem its main characteristic today.
Thomas Pardoe was a British enameler noted for flower painting.
Chantilly porcelain is French soft-paste porcelain produced between 1730 and 1800 by the manufactory of Chantilly in Oise, France. The wares are usually divided into three periods, 1730-51, 1751-1760, and a gradual decline from 1760 to 1800.
French porcelain has a history spanning a period from the 17th century to the present. The French were heavily involved in the early European efforts to discover the secrets of making the hard-paste porcelain known from Chinese and Japanese export porcelain. They succeeded in developing soft-paste porcelain, but Meissen porcelain was the first to make true hard-paste, around 1710, and the French took over 50 years to catch up with Meissen and the other German factories.
The Museum of the Gorge, originally the Severn Warehouse, is one of the ten museums of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust. It portrays the history of the Ironbridge Gorge and the surrounding area of Coalbrookdale, Shropshire, England.
The Lowestoft Porcelain Factory was a soft-paste porcelain factory on Crown Street in Lowestoft, Suffolk, England, which was active from 1757 to 1802. It mostly produced "useful wares" such as pots, teapots, and jugs, with shapes copied from silverwork or from Bow and Worcester porcelain. The factory, built on the site of an existing pottery or brick kiln, was later used as a brewery and malt kiln. Most of its remaining buildings were demolished in 1955.
Thomas Turner was an English potter.
Vienna porcelain is the product of the Vienna Porcelain Manufactory, a porcelain manufacturer in Alsergrund in Vienna, Austria. It was founded in 1718 and continued until 1864.
Ludwigsburg porcelain is porcelain made at the Ludwigsburg Porcelain Manufactory founded by Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg, on 5 April 1758 by decree as the Herzoglich-ächte Porcelaine-Fabrique. It operated from the grounds of the Baroque Ludwigsburg Palace. After a first two decades that were artistically, but not financially, successful, the factory went into a slow decline and was closed in 1824. Much later a series of other companies used the Ludwigsburg name, but the last production was in 2010.
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