Histories of UK potters and pottery manufacturers

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© Michael Perry 2011. Contact

Image courtesy of Lema Publishing Ltd, publishers of ‘Tableware International’ www.tablewareinternational.com

Last updated: 1st August 2011

1756 - 1811 (Duesbury)

Factory marks were rarely applied prior to about 1770, except perhaps for an incised ‘D’ or ‘Derby’.

A crown was added to the mark in about 1775 in recognition of the Royal Warrant granted to the partners by George III in March 1775. The mark was painted, usually in blue enamel, and is variable in form.

The well known mark of crown, crossed swords, dots and ‘D’ was adopted during the management of William Duesbury II from about 1784 and marks of this form  were incised, or painted in puce or blue enamel, and slight variations occur. The mark, as illustrated, was continued in use by Robert Bloor until circa. 1820.

1811 - 1848 (Bloor Derby)

Robert Bloor, who assumed control of the business in 1811 continued to use the earlier Duesbury marks until at least 1825, when marks bearing the ‘Bloor’ name appear for the first time. A variety of other marks, not bearing the Bloor, name are also found.

1848 - 1859 (King Street)

The King Street partnerships, operating at a new location introduced a new mark in 1848 reflecting the new circumstances, and new owners, of the business.


1859 - 1863 (King Street)

A similar mark was used from circa 1859 following the death of William Locker and the advent to the partnership of George Stevenson.


1863 - 1866 and 1866 - 1935 (King Street)

From 1863 the factory reverted back to the old Duesbury-period mark, but with the addition of ‘S’ and ‘H’ signifying first the Stevenson & Hancock partnership (1863 - 1866) and then, conveniently, for ‘Sampson Hancock’.

Use of these marks are clearly intended to establish a link back to the reputation of the Nottingham Road factory and the Duesbury era.


1877 - 1890 (Omaston Road)

Like the King Street factory, the Derby Crown Porcelain Co. Ltd, was keen to associate itself with the reputation built by the Duesburys; and the mark adopted for the new factory is not dissimilar to that used, for the same purpose by the King Street concern.

The mark is usually printed, on top of the glaze in red, but also occurs as a black, underglaze mark.


1890 - 1964 (Omaston Road)

A new name, Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Co. Ltd, and mark was adopted following the grant of the Royal Warrant in 1890. From 1890 to about 1921 the mark has ‘ENGLAND’ placed vertically on the right hand side.  From 1921 to 1940 the words ‘Made in England’ appear below the mark.

The mark is usually printed, on top of the glaze in red.


1940 - 1945

A new mark was used during the Second World War and appears on the more utilitarian ware produced during that period.

1964 - 1975

A new mark was introduced in 1964 and was in use until 1975

1976 - 2000+

The current circular mark, still with the crown and script cypher was introduced in 1976 and continues to the present day. This mark, too, is printed, overglaze, in red.