Antique English set of eight Leopold dinner plates by Royal Crown Derby. These matching plates are in the striking blue and white Leopold pattern with birds and plants on the edge, circa 1882.
Royal Crown Derby began before 1750, when Andrew Planche established the first china works in Derby. His exquisite figures led to a link with William Duesbury, who acquired the famous Chelsea China Works in 1770. A gradual transfer of extremely skilled craftsmen to Derby resulted in his Derby factory being a ‘second Dresden’. Their London showroom opened in 1773, which began spreading their recognition of excellence. King George III recognized Derby porcelain’s excellence in 1775, when he allowed them the honor of using the crown mark. William Duesbury died in 1797 at the early age of 34, when much of his team left the factory. Robert Bloor restored the Derby porcelain reputation, when he took control in 1811. An impressive new factory opened in Derby in 1877, which marked a period of growth and diversification. In 1890, Queen Victoria gave her seal of approval by granting the title of ‘The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company’.