In the early 19th century there were two rival china factories in Worcester – Flights and Chamberlains – both making the highest quality of porcelain for important customers. In 1807 the then Prince of Wales (the future King George IV) visited both factories and impressed by what he saw he granted them both Royal Warrants. In 1811, not long after becoming Prince Regent he requested sample plates for a new dinner service to be made by each of them. This plate by Barr, Flight and Barr is most likely one of these samples. The Prince, however, decided to order his service from Chamberlains, which is the renowned harlequin service still in the Royal Collection today at Windsor Castle.
The archive at the Museum of Royal Worcester has the original Chamberlain pattern book prepared by the rival factory to vie for the Prince Regent’s business. George was known for his extravagance and fascination with the exotic, exemplified by the decoration of the Brighton Pavilion and the design of this plate and those in the Chamberlains pattern book reflect this taste. The hand-painted imari style decoration fuses elements of Chinese and Japanese art and design with Regency England and bears the coronet and Prince of Wales feathers in the centre.
Material: Soft paste porcelain
Factory: Barr, Flight and Barr