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Royal Worcester

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Royal Worcester is believed to be the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain brand still in existence today, established in 1751 (this is disputed by Royal Crown Derby, which claims 1750 as its year of establishment). Since 2009 part of the Portmeirion Group, Royal Worcester remains in the luxury tableware and giftware market, although production in Worcester itself has ended.

Technically, the Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd. known as Royal Worcester was formed in 1862, and wares produced before this are known as Worcester porcelain, although the company had a royal warrant from 1788. The enterprise has followed the pattern of other leading English porcelain brands, with increasing success during the 18th and 19th centuries, and a gradual decline during the 20th century, especially the latter half.In the 20th century Royal Worcester’s most popular pattern has been “Evesham Gold”, first offered in 1961, depicting the autumnal fruits of the Vale of Evesham with fine gold banding on an “oven to table” body.[9]

After the 1976 merger with Spode,[10] and due to heavy competition from overseas, the production was switched to factories in Stoke and abroad. 100 staff were made redundant in 2003 and another 100 went in 2005. Fifteen porcelain painters left the Severn Street factory on Friday 29 September 2006, together with 100 other workers.[11] The last trading date for Royal Worcester was 14 June 2009.

The company went into administration on 6 November 2008 and on 23 April 2009 the brand name and intellectual property were acquired by Portmeirion Pottery Group – a pottery and homewares company based in Stoke-on-Trent. As Portmeirion Group has a factory in Stoke-on-Trent, the purchase did not include Royal Worcester and Spode manufacturing facilities.


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