Pair of Flight, Barr and Barr tureens included in our Fine and Classic Interiors Sale estimate £600-800
Flight, Barr and Barr Overview.
Our upcoming Fine and Classic Interiors sale
will feature a nice collection of early 19th century Worcester porcelain. This porcelain is from the era when the original partnership of the Worcester factory had been bought out by Thomas Flight an agent for the factory in London. The factory was soon run by Thomas Flight's two sons Joseph and John, who looked at ways to restore the porcelain works to its former glory, for by the 1780's it was very much in decline. John Flight died in 1791 and Joseph found a new partner in Martin Barr. As more members of the Barr and Flight families joined the company it was to be renamed several times within a short period from Flight and Barr, to Barr Flight and Barr and then Flight Barr and Barr, the marking of the porcelain following closely each name change.
The 19th century saw a rebirth of the Worcester factory becoming one of the most important and prolific manufactures. A new hybrid porcelain formula was adopted and fabulous decorating styles used which followed closely the current London fashion tastes. The factory was known for its cabinet wares, plates, vases, cups and saucers. These were more for decoration than use such as the three plates illustrated below, one painted with rural figures within a gilt seaweed border, and two painted with fine studies of shells, these plates are estimated to sell between £200-300 each.
Barr, Flight and Barr Porcelain and William Billingsley
The Worcester porcelain factory employed some of the finest painters of the day to decorate its wares. Non more famous than William Billingsley known as the finest flower painter of the day. The story of Billingsley is fascinating but tragic, Worcester historian John Sandon states that 'to some, he is a genius and others a charlatan but few can deny not only his great talent but also an enormous influence on the porcelain industry'. William Billingsley worked with porcelain all his life starting at the Derby porcelain factory. He had several false starts at making his own porcelain as well as establishing a decorating studio in the Derbyshire area. When these concerns failed and bankrupted him he fled his depts and moved across the country to Worcester.
Billingsley's talents did not go unnoticed at Worcester and whilst he was originally employed on a standard decorator's wages, he soon became a lot more involved in the company assisting with kiln and porcelain formula development. His relationship with Worcester did not last and in 1813 he left the company without notice where he next tried his luck at the Welsh Nantgarw factory and subsequently at Swansea. Our upcoming Fine and Classic Interiors sale
includes a shell shape dish from the Barr, Flight and Barr era when Billingsley was very much involved with decoration at the factory. The dish features his characteristic flower painting and is expected to sell for £250-350.
Flight, Barr and Barr Armorial Porcelain
The factory also produced armorial wares. Worcester had been slow to offer the service of painting a family crest on services mainly because the early porcelain formula used was not sufficiently strong for dinner services. This, however, was to change in the 19th century when the new hybrid porcelain formula was used. Armorial crested wares can be a collecting field on their own and are of special interest when the family crest is known or can be traced. The Flight, Barr and Barr partnership was not the only factory to tap into the lucrative market of armorial crested dinner services and rival porcelain factory run by Chamberlain's Worcester were also engaged in a similar business. Our Fine and Classic Interiors sale includes a porter mug from the Flight and Barr era circa 1800 bearing a lions head crest as well as the initials G.B.C. which is estimated at £250-350 also a Flight, Barr and Barr plate circa 1820, painted with a bird of prey crest is estimated at £100-150. Three Chamberlains Worcester plates are included in the sale one of which is from the Lord Dudley service circa 1820, decorated with central crest flanked by two angels, script Latin motto to base reading 'Comme Je Fus' (As I Was) these Chamberlains Worcester plates will have a presale estimate of £100-150 each.