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Probably the first English porcelain factory, founded about 1744, Chelsea produced the highest quality and most fashionable wares in England during its short period of manufacture. The porcelain was soft-paste, translucent, with a mellow glaze, which, in the early days, showed slight tears and warping. Nicholas Sprimont, a silversmith, was probably associated with the factory from the beginning, becoming manager in 1749, and early products are derived from silver prototypes. By the 1750s many useful wares were produced, with restrained, simple decoration, often botanical in theme, as well as a wide range of allegorical and peasant figures. Later creations, such as garnitures of vases and figure groups, were much more ornate in manner. In 1769 the factory was sold to William Duesbury of Derby and products were known as ‘Chelsea-Derby’ until the factory finally closed in 1784.

http://www.museumoflondon.org.uk/ceramics/pages/subcategory.asp?subcat_id=726&subcat_name=Chelsea Description and illustrations on Museum of London website.

Subjects: Decorative Arts, Furniture, and Industrial Design.

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