William Davis

William Davis had been the manager of the Worcester factory for over 20 years before he took sole charge in the late 1770s. The firm gradually turned to new ideas. General improvements were made to the porcelain body and glaze and elegant new fluted tea sets and scallop shaped dessert wares were introduced. The Worcester factory started to concentrate on production of tableware for individual wealthy customers such as Lord Henry Thynne and Earl Dalhousie who have porcelain patterns named after them. (We assume they were the original purchasers of these designs).

Discovery of buildings such as Hadrian’s Villa in Rome inspired a new interest in Classical Italian designs in the 1770s. Decorative devices such as rams’ heads, swags of flowers and husk patterns were widely used. Worcester porcelain was decorated in this new restrained style, with simple blue borders and delicate gilding. For the first time, the shapes of items in a tea or dessert service were all designed to match one another.

In 1783 the Warmstry Factory was purchased by Thomas Flight for his sons Joseph and John.

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