|Mudlarking Finds: Worcester Hatched Crescent|
|Worcester coffee Mug & Saucer 1780|
|Worcester Hatched Crescent|
|Dr Wall artist unknown (BBC)|
Porcelain had been produced in China since 200 and imported to Britain in large quantities from 16th century. It took until 1710 for Europeans to master the art of production in Meissan Germany. The race was on to develop British porcelain. It’s said that Dr Wall and apothecary William Davis experimented at Davis shop and discovered a way to make soft paste porcelain, later bringing additional technical expertise by purchased their rival Benjamin Lund’s Bristol porcelain business in 1752. Securing a supply of soapstone from Cornwall clinched their success. When added to the mix soapstone rendered the finished product heat resistant - other porcelain cracked on contact with hot water. Business canny and continuing to aim for best in class in 1756 they secured the services of Robert Hancock arguably the most talented copper plate engraver of his time.
Their target was the middle market. Products were tea and table wares. In 1754 they accessed the London market via a warehouse in Aldergate Street and large quantities of Worcester products were decorated in London by James Giles. Initially designs were hand painted. It is claimed Worcester were the first to introduce transfer printing to porcelain and from the 1770s most of their designs were transfer printed. Decorated in blue and white with Chinese and Japanese themes and from the mid 1750s with flowers in the flowing German style popular at this time. They also produced more expensive coloured enamelled sets. They became the largest producer of blue and white Porcelain, so many of the porcelain shards found on the foreshore must originate from this company.
I wonder if the other porcelain shards I found nearby are Worcester? German flowing flower style?
For some time I've wanted to match designs on my mudlarking fragments to their original patterns and even better linking these to developments in design over the centuries. Apart from the willow pattern up until now I’ve had no success. This time to my delight I thought I’d found the remains of the parrot pecking fruit design, associated with the aforementioned Robert Hancock, this shard has the hatched crescent on its reverse. Sadly on a closer look it's not an exact match, which wiped the very pleased with myself expression off my face.
|Mudlarking Find: Worcester Porcelain not the Parrot Eating Fruit Pattern|
|Parrot Pecking Fruit Pattern Worcester Mug 1775 (Steppes Hill Farm)|
Ha, found it, the shard above (albeit upside down) is from the 'fruit sprig' pattern, pic below - smug again.
|Worcester mug with the “ Fruit Sprigs” pattern Circa 1770 (cathcartsantiques.com)|