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Royal Crown Derby

Royal Crown Derby Porcelain is the ultimate name (granted by Queen Victoria in 1890) for what was originally simply Derby Porcelain, founded in 1747 by Andre Planche and soon partnered with the famous William Duesbury in 1756. In between the two appellations, the name Crown Derby applied when King George III granted permission for Derby Porcelain to incorporate the crown into its porcelain mark.

William Duesbury, followed by his son and grandson with the same name, merged Derby with Chelsea in 1770 and Bow Porcelain in 1776 - both companies being acquired and keeping the Derby name, although there was a brief period when products were known as "Chelsea-Derby". The Derby legacy greatly benefitted from the closing of the Chelsea works and the importation of workers and equipment.

When William Duesbury II died in 1797 at the premature age of 34, Michael Kean, who had married into the family, took his turn at managing the company. His tenure saw the business decline in stature, losing the services of several talented artisans.

William Duesbury III emerged just prior to the turn of the nineteenth century to assume control of Crown Derby, with Kean splitting off a piece of the business and moving elsewhere. The arrival of Robert Bloor in 1811 led to a resurgence of Crown Derby. In 1877, business was so good that the company opened a new factory at Omaston Road in Derby, which still is in operation today.


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