Whether you're considering starting a collection of Royal Worcester or you've already purchased a few pieces, our Buyers Guide below should help you in your considerations. Below you will find expert advice from one of our Royal Worcester Antique Dealers and handy tips from our In-house Interior Designer.
John Andrews of Scottow Antiques specialises in antique ceramics, he has a beautiful collection of Royal Worcester ceramics on the loveantiques.com website. Mr Andrews has the following expert advice for those wishing to purchase Royal Worcester.
1. Condition, Condition, Condition
This is by far one of the most important considerations when it comes to purchasing any antique ceramics, and it is no different when it comes to Royal Worcester. The condition of the piece is paramount to its value, beauty and desirability and should be a key consideration when beginning a collection of Royal Worcester ceramics.
2. Search for Signed Pieces
If you can afford to Mr Andrews recommends purchasing Royal Worcester that has been signed. Although it is important to note that the very early pieces produced by the company were not signed.
3. Particular Painters
There are certain painters from the Royal Worcester dynasty who are worthy of note; Harry Davies for sheep, John and Harry Stinton for Highland Cattle, Sebright for depictions of fruit and Aldwin for particular stunning sky blue vases painted with elegant swans.
There is such a vast collection it may also be worthy to note the following advice:
4. Pick a Period
It is difficult to identify when pieces are genuine because of the complexity and length of the company, so it may be useful to focus on one period in particular and learn the marks and characteristics from this period.
The crescent mark relates to pieces pre 1783, when Dr Wall was part of the company; these are particularly rare, therefore valuable and desirable to specialist collectors.
Interior Designer Advice
Our in house Interior Designer recommends the following three tips when purchasing Royal Worcester.
1. Royal Worcester produced many beautiful vases with second to none paintings of fruit, these look absolutely beautiful in a country kitchen.
2. For those who are a fan of figurines, Royal Worcester is famed for its horses, women and birds; these particularly attractive figurines would look lovely displayed on a mantel or dresser.
3. There is something romantic about the majority of Royal Worcester designs so they would work perfectly with a soft, serene interior, colours are muted and there is a particular charm about the pieces.
Extra Considerations when purchasing Royal Worcester
Royal Worcester aimed to beat the porcelain produced in the Far East; which was considered superior. In its early years it was of functional use, later pieces became more decorative so dependant on what your taste would determine what period you wish to purchase pieces from.
Purchasing any antique items is the ideal way to reuse and recycle items that otherwise may end up in landfill. It is the perfect way to lessen your impact on the environment, whilst appreciating the beauty of the past.
Valuing Royal Worcester
There are a variety of ways to value Royal Worcester pieces, initially it helps to identify a marker, the standard factory print mark was ‘51’, which signifies the year it was founded by Dr Wall. The easiest way to identify an item is by its mark or if it is signed by the particular artist who produced it. There are items of Royal Worcester that will be more coveted than others; those in perfect condition will yield more value, as will unique pieces. Particular artists who are highly desirable include Harry Ayrton, Richard Sebright, Stinton and Charles Toft; Wades’ figurines from 1950 may also be very valuable in the future.
Antique ceramics are extremely fragile so it is important to ensure they are adequately wrapped, it is wise to make sure they are wrapped in multiple layers of bubble wrap and are shipped in a secure box inside another box. It is always a sensible idea to insure an antique valuable before transporting them so in the event that the piece is damaged or broken you can be compensated for your loss.
When handling antique ceramics it is essential you are gentle and where possible try to touch them as little as possible. If they do need to be handled it is advised you wear gloves and are aware there may be some structural weaknesses. You should never clean antique ceramics with harsh cleaning products, instead warm soapy water will suffice and a delicate cloth.
First Image: LoveAntiques stock - www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/dinner-service/royal-worcester-fruit-tea-set-c1958-39809
(to the left) LoveAntiques stock - www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/blue-and-white/georgian-worcester-blue-and-white-salad-bowl-39676
(centre) LoveAntiques stock - www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/dinner-service/late-18th-century-worcester-dessert-service-31268
(to the right) LoveAntiques stock - www.loveantiques.com/antique-ceramics/jugs-pitchers/early-royal-worcester-blush-ivory-8-1-2-jug-1896-39148