The Origins of Antique Porcelain and China

porcelain cups, saucers and milk jug

Here at Featonby’s, we’re no strangers to seeing some weird and wonderful collectibles among our lots – and when it comes to antique porcelain and china items, that’s no different. From Britain’s very own Royal Worcester to Spanish-born brand Lladró, the antiques market is positively packed with impressive antique homeware.

Join us today, as we step back in time with these renowned brands – looking at how they turned humble beginnings into a world-conquering future.

Where it all began

When it comes to knowing when the first porcelain pieces came into circulation, it’s difficult to pin down an exact date, but we do know the ceramics trade originated in China. Some sources say that it was Marco Polo himself who first brought porcelain into Europe, following his return to Italy from China in the late 13th century. One thing is clear: since its introduction into a mainstream market, china dinner and homeware has enjoyed particular success – and continues to do so today – thanks in part to the individuality and characteristics of different pieces and collections. Let’s take a closer look at some renowned brands.

Royal Worcester: a history

With its origins spanning back as far as 1751, Royal Worcester is thought to be one of the oldest porcelain brands in England. Still in circulation today, Royal Worcester patterns are easy to identify and wouldn’t be out of place in a number of homes around the country.

From tableware to gifts, Royal Worcester porcelain collections include everything from vintage patterns through to quirky character combinations – so, whatever your taste, you’ll be able to find a unique piece that fits right into your home.

Royal Worcester china mugs are especially popular today, thanks to a variety of designs that cater for all tastes, while vintage Royal Worcester figurines also often find their way into auction houses. Prices vary drastically for these sorts of items, but avid collectors are often on the lookout for early Worcester marks and limited edition pieces. At Featonby’s, we regularly auction off sought-after collectible items like these, so, if you’re having a clear out and come across a famous Royal Worcester mark on your unwanted items, we’d love to speak to you!

Looking back at Lladró: figurines & ornaments

A brand born out of Spanish brotherly love, Lladró exists because of the artistic capabilities of Juan, José and Vicente Lladró – who built their empire from the ground up. Rewind to 1953, when the trio of talented men took inspiration from European manufacturers and began creating their very first ceramics, as well as plates and vases. With success quickly following, the brand opened its first store in Valencia later that decade and has gone from strength to strength ever since.

Whether you’re on the hunt for your very own slice of Spanish history or are keen to auction off your Lladró figurines, we’d love to help. To find out more about buying or selling these antique items, head over to our dedicated Lladró ornaments and figurines page.

Whether you’re a life-long fan of Royal Worcester or love nothing more than discovering an antique hidden gem, at a Featonby’s auction, you never know what you might come across next! Keep an eye on our upcoming lots – we look forward to seeing you at our Newcastle auction house soon.

Lladró handmade porcelain figurine

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