Royal Albert China had its origins in 1896 in Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, when the Albert Works pottery was purchased by Thomas Clark Wild. The following year, under the brand name Albert Crown China, Thomas Wild & Co. produced bone china pieces to commemorate Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
The St Mary’s Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent which came into the company’s ownership in 1905, was used initially for the decoration of the bone china products produced at the nearby Albert Works. (Credit: thepotteries.org)
Blessed with growing popularity, the company earned a Royal Warrant in 1904, and in 1906 established the Royal Albert brand. The ensuing years saw the introduction of a variety of acclaimed patterns, cementing the brand as a household name.
Now owned by the Fiskars group, alongside Royal Doulton and Wedgwood, Royal Albert’s dinnerware and tea sets continue to be produced today in Indonsia rather than Stoke-on-Trent.
Old Country Roses
While Royal Albert produced a variety of well-received patterns through the first half of the 20th Century, it wasn’t until 1962 that their most recognisable pattern would be introduced: based on an earlier pattern called Kings Ransom, the ubiquitous Old Country Roses pattern was designed by Harold Holdcroft and has become synonymous with the Royal Albert brand.
Featured on the scalloped-edge Montrose shape, the pattern is decorated with red, pink and yellow English roses, with foliage and finished with a 22-carat gold trim. The pattern proved enormously popular – indeed, more than 150 million pieces have been sold.
Consisting of approximately 500 pieces, this large collection of Old Country Roses items was offered in our November 2021 Fine Art auction. Consisting of coffee and tea sets, tureens, platters, fancies, cutlery and other items, the collection realised a hammer price of £3,700.
Perhaps seen as an embodiment of quintessential ‘Englishness’, Old Country Roses enjoys a certain amount of popularity among select markets in Asia, where a fascination with English culture drives demand and elevates its value.
This extensive collection of approximately 400 pieces in the Old Country Roses pattern sold for £1,500 in our November 2023 Fine Art auction.
Alternative versions of the pattern were later produced, using different colours on the same motif: Moonlight Rose is elegantly tinted in shades of blue, with the foliage in a more muted green, while Pacific Rose is depicted in vibrant yellow and orange colours. Now discontinued and less-common than Old Country Roses, they are collectible in their own right.
An example of the Moonlight Rose pattern, this collection of tea and dinnerware, consisting of 118 items, sold for £1,900 in our November 2021 Fine Art auction.
Produced between 1961 and 2009, Lavender Rose tea sets are also popular with collectors. A delicate design on the Montrose and the more gently-formed Avon shapes, it features pink and lavender blooms with green foliage, outlined in gold trim. It is similar in style to the also-discontinued Moss Rose pattern.
Offered in our March 2023 Fine Art auction was this collection of 46 Lavender Rose pattern items, which sold for £140.
An earlier, yet continually sought-after pattern is Lady Carlyle, which was introduced in 1944, and features on the Avon and Malvern shapes. It boasts a deep Rococo style pink border, finished with gold scrolling and interspersed with a stylised floral design which incorporates bluebells, forget-me-nots and a central pink rose.
Our November 2022 Fine Art auction featured this lovely 22-piece Lady Carlyle pattern tea set, which achieved a hammer price of £420.
The pattern was actually discontinued in the early 2000s, but such was its popularity that the outcry from customers led to its reinstatement.
What’s My Royal Albert China Worth?
So, how much is your Royal Albert China worth?
Whether you have a tea set, or other china, the value of a Royal Albert piece is, of course, dependant on several factors:
- Pieces and sets in popular patterns will naturally garner a higher price due to customer demand
- Rarer, older and speciality examples are higher in value thanks to their exclusivity
- With age also comes a higher likelihood of poorer condition, as well as bone china sets that are less likely to be complete. Therefore, well-preserved and complete older sets will, too, command a premium
Do you have Royal Albert pieces to sell?
Our expect ceramic valuers can determine your Royal Albert China worth, and help you consign them to auction. Free valuation days are held every Tuesday at our Silverdale saleroom.
To book an appointment, use our online booking form here. Alternatively, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call us on 01782 638100. We can even value your items via WhatsApp: simply send some clear pictures via the app to 07864 667940.