Learn about Worcester / Royal Worcester

Among the most popular of the English porcelain factories among collectors is Royal Worcester. The Worcester porcelain company was founded in 1751.

The First Period of Worcester (1751-76) is sometimes called the Dr. Wall period after John Wall, one of the founders and major shareholders. During this period, Worcester was using the formula for soft paste porcelain which was obtained when they took over Lund's Bristol Porcelain works in 1752.

Worcester also introduced the use of transfer printing on porcelain in 1757, which reduced the need for hand painting which was time consuming and expensive.

In 1783 Thomas Flight purchased the factory for his sons Joseph & John. This period led to a change in the porcelain paste used, achieving a much better, whiter body. The style of decoration during this period became much more neoclassical in style.

In 1793 Martin Barr became a partner in the firm. As the partnership changed so did the names, Barr, Flight, Barr (1807-13), Flight Barr, Barr (1813-40).

In 1840 Worcester amalgamated with the Chamberlains' factory, also located at Worcester, but still producing from both works. more...

Learn about Hadley & Sons / James Hadley

James Hadley (1837-1903) was apprenticed to Kerr & Binns of Worcester, (the predecessor firm to the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company) and then worked on a contract basis for the Royal Worcester Porcelain Company from separate premises as principal modeller from 1870 to 1895. That year his contract was terminated due to falling demand and he set up his own business. With the aid of his three sons, and trading as Hadley & Sons, he began producing decorative porcelain in 1896, with the assistance of a group of young artists. James Hadley died in December 1903 and the business was taken over by Royal Worcester in July 1905, though distinctive Hadley ware continued to be produced under the supervision of Louis Hadley for many years. Many of the floral designs found on Hadley ware were painted in monochrome, but were always of a very high quality. Much of the Hadley output consisted of high-class earthenware decorated with transparent glazes.
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A Hadley Worcester miniature vase painted with roses, 10 cm high

Royal Worcester, porcelain ewer, c. 1905, hand painted with rose blooms and flower buds, with scrolling handle, signed 'C V white', green printed mark to base and 'H' for James Hadley, height 29 cm. Provenance: John Williams Antiques, Wooll

A pair of Royal Worcester porcelain figures of kneeling Eastern water carriers, modelled by James Hadley, circa 1885, 15 cm high

A Royal Worcester lidded vase, painted with poppies on blush ivory ground, signed James Hadley to base and under lid, date code from 1892. Height 13.5 cm.

Pair of Royal Worcester Hadley style goblet vases, with handpainted floral decoration and figural scroll pedestal base, circa 1907, height 20.5 cm approx

Hadleys Worcester urn & cover twin handled compressed circular body painted with thistle & dandelion, 24 cm height

A Royal Worcester Hadley shape potpourri lacking cover, circular fluted shape with moulded decoration, hand painted with apples and cherries, shape H278. Height 9 cm

A Royal Worcester Hadley shape potpourri and cover by Harry Stinton, circular fluted shape with moulded decoration, hand painted with highland cattle in a landscape and a vignette of heather in mist, shape H278. Height 9 cm

A pair of Royal Worcester porcelain figurines, 'Sorrow & Joy', designed by James Hadley, each modelled as a scantily clad woman, gilt and painted enamel highlights. One broken at the base. Date code marks for 1896. Height 25 cm

A pair of Royal Worcester boy and girl figured candlesticks, signed Hadley, 1867. 22 cm high.

A fine pair of Royal Worcester kneeling water carrier figures modelled by James Hadley, 1880. 25 cm high.

A Royal Worcester lamp of girl and boy with bird's nest, signed Hadley. 53 cm high. 88 cm high.

A Royal Worcester J. Hadley ewer, 'Wading Stork' by Powell, 1905, with shaped lip and scrolling handle, painted profusely, model no 242B, 29 cm high

A Royal Worcester J.Hadley vase 'Wading Stork' by A.C.Lewis, circa 1903, of ovoid form with scrolling handles, painted to both sides, Jh monogram, 30 cm high

Hadley Worcester ewer vase. Hand painted swan on lake decoration. On blue ground with gilt highlights. Stamped to base Hadley's Worcester England; and 242-c-79-62. C.1903. Height 35 cm

A Royal Worcester figure titled 'Chungian Indian snake charmer', signed Hadley, circa 1903, 34 cm high.

A signed Royal Worcester sandwich plate, 1907, monogram possibly in the manner of James Hadley, pattern W8011, the circular plate with soft full blown puce and yellow roses upon a muted pastel and ivory ground; with green backstamp underside and various pa

A pair of Royal Worcester Hadley hand vases, impressed and stamped marks to base, registration diamond for 1867, height 15 cm

A pair of Royal Worcester mantel vases, painted by William Jarman, dated 1911, (2), the vases of tapering square form with applied mask and ring handles, having gilded rims, painted to the body with Hadley style roses by and signed 'W. Jarman', sup

Royal Worcester. Pair of lidded vases, c. 1905, each painted with rose blooms and flower buds, with reticulated lid signed 'C V white', green printed mark to base and 'H' for James Hadley, one finial restored (2). Height 34 cm

A superb Persian style Royal Worcester vase by Hadley, mid 1870s, the fine ivory bottle vase with ornate pierced buttress style handles and foliate embellishments in shot olive and deep cream colours, the body decorated with pale blue lilies in a vase surr

A Hadley Worcester porcelain figural group vase, 1884, modelled as a resting boy and girl drinking water from a gilded jug, set upon a naturalistic base, 17 cm high.

A Hadley Worcester ewer, signed H W Martin painted with roses with a moulded decoration. 29 cm high

A small floral Royal Worcester vase, 1907, with mark of James Hadley underside, the small baluster vase with a petite waisted neck with a green border and a small foot decorated with blowsy red and yellow roses on a muted and blush ground; backstamp unders

A rare Royal Worcester James Hadley porcelain jardiniere, dated 1905, with rams head moulded handles, raised from four hoof feet and stepped base the gently lobed body painted with sweet peas, marks in green, shape 250, incised E.W, 19 cm high

A Hadley Royal Worcester 'Pheasant' porcelain vase, signed Lewis, dated 1905, of bottle form, with tolled gilded shoulder, painted with pheasant in flight over a field, green mark, shape F105, 20.5 cm high

Pair of Royal Worcester Hadley style vases with handpainted rose decoration, signed Lewis, circa 1907, height 39 cm approx, (a/f to one vase)

Large Hadley Worcester hand painted jardiniere, hand painted with roses. 22 cm high

Hadley Worcester two handled vase, hand painted with peacocks. 30 cm high. (Restoration to base)

Pair of Royal Worcester blush figurines of Gentry, signed Hadley to back, pattern 1052, male hat & head restored, c.1886, height 21 cm

Hadley Worcester lidded pot pouri with passion flower decoration, height 13 cm

A Royal Worcester potpourri and cover, painted by Harry Stinton; Hadley shape 279, painted with highland cattle in a misty landscape, signed, the pierced lid with a cupola finial, green mark, c.1912. Height 13.5 cm

Royal Worcester / Hadley vase & cover ovoid body continually painted with crane & landscape, signed 'W. Powell', 34 cm height

Hadley's Worcester small vase, handpainted with daffodil and violet decoration. 9 cm high

Hadley's Royal Worcester jardiniere, hand painted with roses, 15 cm tall