Royal Porcelain Works reinstates historical plates

The Royal Porcelain Works – which has been developed to showcase Worcestershire’s artistry and craftsmanship – has reinstated 30 plates in what used to be the Victorian showroom of Royal Worcester, the Henry Sandon Hall.

The project – which took three months to complete – was undertaken by Royal Porcelain Works resident artist Tony Young; just like in the Victorian period, these hand-painted plates – depicting local scenes and wildlife – will be on show for visitors to enjoy as well as serving as a lasting legacy to Tony, a local artist who has an established relationship with the site.

L–R: Ceramic artist, Tony Young, holding one of the plates with Brenda and Colin Kinnear from The Bransford Trust. Worcester’s leading centre for art and culture has unveiled a series of hand painted ceramic plates.

Tony – who has been an artist all his working life – began his career at Royal Worcester in 1970, shortly after his 15th birthday. In 1971, he was named ‘Best Animal and Bird Artist’ by the renowned ceramics expert Henry Sandon. His many special commissions have included painting the Queen’s corgis, as well as paintings for the Sultan of Oman. Tony has also built up a reputation for his repairs and restoration work, which he also undertakes on site; these have included around 600 red poppies from the public art installation at the Tower of London, which commemorated the outbreak of World War I.

The original plates were housed in the Henry Sandon Hall, which was built in 1851 to showcase the world-famous porcelain. Displayed in wall mouldings, the designs were hand painted by the artists who worked there.

Sara Matthews, General Manager of Royal Porcelain Works, said: “In creating a multipurpose facility here at Royal Porcelain Works – which enables us to show theatre, film, dance, live music and much more – it is important to be able to recognise the history of this beautiful site too. In reinstating the plates, we are creating a new piece of history for the Henry Sandon Hall, while also recognising the incredible talent of Tony, who has dedicated his career to the Works and is an integral part of the team here today.”

The Bransford Trust – which owns the site – is currently developing an area on site that formerly housed the Trade Showrooms; scheduled for completion early next year, the spaces will be available for artists to lease.

For further information, please contact the Royal Porcelain Works on 01905 677399 or email enquiries@royalporcelainworks.co.uk.

Photo caption: The Henry Sandon Hall in 1905, Royal Worcester’s Victorian showroom.