Barr, Flight & Barr 1804-1813


Barr, Flight & Barr 1804–1813
The Warmstry factory at Worcester was owned by Joseph Flight and Martin Barr (c.1757–1813) who were joined by Martin Barr Junior (c.1784–1848) in 1804. The next decade was to be exceptionally successful; some of the finest quality British porcelain was made at the Warmstry factory. The customer accounts of this period list a prestigious cliental. Richly decorated personalised services were made for the wealthiest customers including Tzar Alexander I, The Duke of York, King George III, King William IV, The Duke of Clarence, The Imam of Muscat, The Marquis of Buckingham and the Nabob of Oude.

The dawn of Romanticism was a period of considerable scientific enquiry, and this was reflected in the choice of ornament, notably the painting of rare feathers, shells, minerals, plants and flowers copied with accuracy from publications such as Curtis’s Botanical Magazine and from Dutch Still Life Painting. The present dessert service is exceptionally finely and realistically painted with flowers

The infamous artistic genius, William Billingsley (1758-1828) was employed by Barr, Flight & Barr from 1808 as a painter and was instrumental in the firm's refinements of its porcelain recipe, together with his son-in-law Samuel Walker. While at Worcester under Flight, Barr & Barr, Billingsley was made to sign a contract preventing him from disclosing porcelain recipes to any third party, however no clause prohibited him from producing porcelain himself. In 1813 Billingsley took his porcelain recipes and lifetime's experience in the industry, along with his daughters Levinia, Sarah and son-in-law Samuel Walker, to Nantgarw, Glamorganshire, Wales, where he established the Nantgarw China Works, Pottery. William Billingsley is one of the most celebrated names in British porcelain, a talented and influential painter and gilder, as well as a pioneering manufacturer. One of the best flower painters, he was famed for his painting of flowers which were of truer perspective owing to his treatment of shadows and admired for his skill as a gilder for delicate gold scroll work of the highest quality (Bemrose, William, Bow, Chelsea, and Derby Porcelain, 1898. p. 130-133).