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Selling Royal Crown Derby at Auction: What’s it Worth?

Fareeha Ahmad

Royal Crown Derby is one of the oldest remaining English ceramics manufacturers, based in Osmaston Road, Derby. The company is known for its high-quality bone china and has been producing tableware and ornamental ware since 1750.

Through their ranges of products and patterns, the Royal Crown Derby name has become synonymous with quality and desirability.

At Potteries Auctions, we specialise and possess a wealth of experience in valuing and selling Royal Crown Derby at auction. As such, our team of experts can identify and provide valuations on a wide range of Royal Crown Derby pieces and help you consign them to our auctions.

Imari Pattern

Among the huge variety of ceramics that are featured in our auctions, Royal Crown Derby Imari pattern items are always popular: this 19th Century Old Imari 1128 coffee set sold in our November 2021 Fine Art auction for £680.

Though a multitude of Imari patterns have been produced by different ceramics manufacturers, the designs introduced by Royal Crown Derby became the best-known, with the two now being inextricably associated.

Sold in our March 2022 Fine Art auction, this Old Imari pattern tazza achieved a hammer price of £880.

In general, Imari patterns were copies of, or were inspired by, porcelain wares that were being exported from the port of Imari, Japan in the 18th and 19th Centuries. They incorporate floral motifs with intricate decoration, usually in blue and red, finished with gold detailing.

At Northeast Auctions in New Hampshire, this pair of potpourri urns and covers realised a fantastic hammer price of $4,956 in March 2013! (Credit:

A number of the designs immortalised in Crown Derby’s pattern books could be described as Imari, but their 1128 pattern is their most iconic and is still being produced to this day.

Introduced in 1882 and now known as ‘Old Imari’, items in this design – particularly earlier examples – are sought-after by collectors, alongside ‘Traditional Imari’ 2451 pieces, which were first introduced in 1887.

Exemplary of the 2451 Imari design, this pair of candlesticks sold in our March 2022 Fine Art auction for £320.


Dazzlingly decorative, Royal Crown Derby’s range of paperweights was first introduced in 1981. In the form of a plethora of different creatures that include birds, butterflies, cats, dogs and other wildlife.

The intricately gilt pieces are decorated with a variety of Imari patterns, often stylised to mimic plumage or natural markings.

Sold in our March 2022 Fine Art auction, this Lady Amherst Pheasant, with gold stopper, reached a hammer price of £300.

The underside of each paperweight includes a stopper, with those in gold denoting a first quality piece and silver stoppers marking a (still very high) second quality.

Despite their comparatively recent introduction, the diverse range of highly decorative paperweights has nonetheless become very collectible.

In our July 2021 Fine Art auction, this scarce Cheshire Cat paperweight with gold stopper (also shown as an example) realised a hammer price of £650.

While Royal Crown Derby’s paperweights are recognised most often in the guise of animals and birds, this piece is in the form of a Gypsy caravan. A limited edition item for Goviers, with gold stopper, it sold in our July 2022 Fine Art Auction for £500.

Blue Mikado

Inspired by a design from 1894 and recorded in their ninth pattern book, Blue Mikado pattern was designed by Thomas Amos Reed, the company’s art director.

He had been inspired by rice paper drawings from the Far East, with his design depicting narrative scenes from Oriental legend.

This Blue Mikado part dinner service sold at Christie’s in New York in June 2012. It reached a hammer price of $2,750. (Credit:

Larger pieces featuring the Blue Mikado pattern displayed the whole design, while smaller examples were decorated with individual scenes. While the pattern has been produced in a range of various colours, the original blue proved the most popular – particularly in Canada during the 1950s, where china importer Cassidy’s sold more than 10 million pieces between 1950 and 1958.

Sold at Maynards in British Colombia, Canada, this service set achieved a hammer price of CA$1,230 in May 2019. (Credit:

This 87-piece collection of Blue Mikado dinnerware sold at Hall’s Auction Services in Alberta, Canada for CA$800 in November 2012. (Credit:

Considering Selling Royal Crown Derby?

At Potteries Auctions, we are well-versed in consigning and selling ceramics such as Royal Crown Derby in our sales. We hold free valuation days every Tuesday at our Silverdale saleroom. Simply book an appointment via our online form here – or, you can email us at or call us on 01782 638100.

Alternatively, we can provide a valuation for your items via WhatsApp – just send us clear photos of your items via the app to 07864 667940.