The Royal Crown Derby is one of the oldest concurrent porcelain manufacturers in the UK. Their founding year of 1750 is up for discretion, as it is disputed by Royal Worcester (founded in 1751), but claim that Royal Crown Derby was also founded in 1751. Still to this day the title of oldest porcelain manufacturer is up for discussion between these two companies. Royal Crown Derby is most well known for their incredibly high quality bone china, such as the tableware and ornamental items which they have produced since the 1750s. They claim to be the last ‘prestige’ tableware brand in the United Kingdom.
In its infancy, the company was known as ‘Derby Porcelain’ until 1773, when they changed their name to ‘Crown Derby’. It wasn’t until over a century later when they became ‘Royal Crown Derby’ in 1890, which is of course what we know them as today. This change was as a result of Queen Victoria appointing the company to be the ‘Manufacturers of porcelain to Her Majesty’, and by royal warrant granted the ‘royal’ title.
Here at Potteries Auctions – we have acquired and auctioned many pieces from the likes of Royal Crown Derby, however there is always a standout design that is the most famous. This – of course – is the ‘Imari 1128’ design. We’ve sold lots of Royal Crown Derby Imari pattern items at auction over the years, but here’s a few of our favourite examples.
First up we have lot 949 from our July 2018 Fine Art sale. This gorgeous Royal Crown Derby Imari jug, standing 26cm tall, was marked as a factory second, however it still is a lovely piece. This lot sold for £600.
Next up we have lot 958, a lovely Royal Crown Derby Imari patterned octagonal bowl which we more recently sold at our March 2022 Fine Art sale. This is another piece which has been marked as factory second, but is still in good condition, and sold for a total of £500.
Finally we have lot number 474, once again from our July 2018 Fine Art sale. This piece is a Royal Crown Derby Repton two handled vase and cover which sold in the end for a total of £650. As we can see from these three pieces, the Imari design really is as versatile as it is unique, which is something that is incredibly difficult to pull off – it truly is a masterclass design.
One of the most collectable items from Royal Crown Derby is easily their paperweights. Their quaint designs that often revolve heavily around different animals are a match made in heaven for any avid collector. Let’s have a look at some of our favourite picks!
Starting off with lot number 967 from our March 2022 Fine Art sale, this lovely limited edition Owl and Poppy Mouse paperweight pair with gold stoppers was numbered 311/1000 and sold for a total of £100.
Next up we have lot 928 from the same sale, which is a gorgeous limited edition White Rhino paperweight for Sinlairs with a gold stopper. This stunning lot sold in the end for a more than fair £190.
Finally we have lot number 977, once again from our March 2022 Fine Art sale. This piece is a stunning large elephant Royal Crown Derby Imari paperweight, which sold for a total of £350.
From these three featured paperweights, you can really see why they’re so collectable. Their unique style speaks for itself as to why Royal Crown Derby have been such an established and collectible porcelain manufacturer in the world, and why we acquire so much of it to sell!
How to Sell Royal Crown Derby at Auction
If you have Royal Crown Derby paperweights or other Royal Crown Derby pottery pieces you’re looking to find a new home for, or you’re simply looking to discover their worth, get in touch and we can help you with a valuation. Talk to our team of experts who will be able to give you an accurate auction estimate on a range of items. You can join us at one of our valuation days, email us for an appointment email@example.com or call us on +44 (0)1782 638100 Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm.
If you can’t come in and see us in person but would like to submit items for auction or valuation, send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with details and a photograph (eg make, model, model number, measurements, condition) and one of our experts will provide information and auction estimates. Alternatively, give us a call on 01782 638100 to arrange an appointment.