Top 5 Iconic Royal Crown Derby Patterns and Their Stories

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Royal Crown Derby has long been synonymous with exquisite craftsmanship and timeless elegance. Founded in the mid-18th century, this esteemed English manufacturer has created some of the world's most beautiful and desirable fine bone china. Over the years, Royal Crown Derby has introduced a variety of patterns, each with its own unique story and design elements. In this blog, we explore the history of the company and five of its most iconic  Royal Crown Derby patterns: Old Imari, Red Aves, Derby Posies, Derby Panel Green, and Royal Antoinette.

mikado royal crown derby patterns

The Royal Crown Derby History 

Royal Crown Derby traces its origins to 1750, when Huguenot immigrant Andrew Planche teamed up with William Duesbury, a porcelain painter, in Derby, England. Their collaboration began what would become one of the most prestigious names in porcelain manufacturing. Initially, the company produced soft-paste porcelain, a predecessor to the more durable bone china, for which they later became famous.

In 1775, the factory received the esteemed honor of incorporating the crown into its back stamp when King George III granted them a royal warrant. This royal endorsement allowed them to become known as Crown Derby, symbolizing the high quality and excellence associated with their products. The factory continued to grow under the leadership of William Duesbury's son, William Duesbury II, who maintained the company's commitment to superior craftsmanship and innovation, but it wasn't until much later in the 1890s that the company received the honor of using the title "Royal" from Queen Victoria.

Iconic Royal Crown Derby Patterns

When it comes to fine bone china, few names evoke the same sense of history, craftsmanship, and elegance as Royal Crown Derby. Renowned for their intricate designs, exceptional quality, and rich heritage, Royal Crown Derby patterns have graced the tables of royalty and the homes of discerning individuals alike. Whether you are an avid collector or simply appreciate the beauty of fine china, these iconic Royal Crown Derby patterns are sure to captivate and inspire.

old imari royal crown derby patterns

Old Imari

Old Imari is one of the most celebrated Royal Crown Derby patterns. Inspired by traditional Japanese Imari porcelain, which was highly prized in Europe during the 17th and 18th centuries, the Old Imari pattern captures the essence of this oriental art form.

The design features a rich colour palette of cobalt blue, iron red, and lavish gold accents. The intricate patterns and vibrant colours create a striking visual appeal that has captivated collectors for generations. Introduced in the early 20th century, Old Imari quickly became a favourite among those who appreciated fine bone china's combination of artistry and functionality.

The pattern's name, Old Imari, pays homage to the original Japanese Imari porcelain, which was produced in Arita and exported through the port of Imari. The Japanese artisans' meticulous attention to detail and vibrant use of colours inspired Royal Crown Derby to create a pattern that echoed these qualities while incorporating their unique style.

Old Imari's timeless elegance and intricate design have ensured its continued popularity. It remains a staple in Royal Crown Derby's collection, beloved by collectors and admired for its exquisite beauty and craftsmanship.

Red Aves

Introduced in the early 20th century, the Red Aves pattern quickly became one of Royal Crown Derby's most iconic and beloved designs. The pattern is characterized by its elaborate bird and floral motifs rendered in rich red tones, creating a vibrant and luxurious aesthetic.

The inspiration for Red Aves came from the decorative arts of the Renaissance period, particularly the intricate tapestries and textiles featuring naturalistic bird and foliage designs. The pattern was designed to evoke the beauty and elegance of these historical artworks, translating them into fine bone china.

Red Aves showcases Royal Crown Derby's exceptional skill in hand-painting and detailing. Each piece features meticulously rendered birds and flowers, with every feather and petal captured in stunning detail. The use of red, a colour traditionally associated with luxury and opulence, adds to the pattern's overall grandeur and sophistication.

Collectors and enthusiasts highly prize Red Aves for its rich history, exquisite design, and the craftsmanship involved in its creation. It remains a popular choice for those seeking to add a touch of elegance and refinement to their table settings.

derby poises royal crown derby china patterns

Derby Posies

Derby Posies is a pattern that embodies the delicate beauty of nature. Inspired by the botanical illustrations popular in the 18th and 19th centuries, this pattern features an array of hand-painted flowers in soft, pastel colours. Each piece showcases a different arrangement of posies, creating a charming and varied collection.

The Derby Posies pattern's origins can be traced back to the Victorian era when there was a growing fascination with botany and the natural world. Botanical illustrations were highly valued for their scientific accuracy and artistic beauty, and they inspired many decorative arts, including porcelain design.

Royal Crown Derby artists carefully hand-paint each flower in the Derby Posies pattern, capturing the delicate nuances of colour and form that make each bloom unique. The soft pastel colours and intricate detailing give the pattern a timeless appeal, making it a favourite for both casual and formal dining settings.

The Derby Posies pattern's enduring popularity is a testament to its timeless charm and the skill of Royal Crown Derby's artisans. It continues to be a beloved choice for those who appreciate nature's beauty and fine bone china's artistry.

Derby Panel Green

Derby Panel Green is a pattern that exudes sophistication and elegance. Introduced in the 18th century, this pattern features intricate green panels adorned with gilded accents and floral motifs. The design's combination of rich green hues and luxurious gold detailing creates a stunning visual impact.

The inspiration for Derby Panel Green came from the neoclassical design movement, which was popular in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. This movement emphasized symmetry, proportion, and the use of classical motifs, drawing inspiration from the art and architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.

Royal Crown Derby's Derby Panel Green pattern reflects these neoclassical principles with its balanced design and intricate detailing. Delicate gilded borders frame the green panels, while the floral motifs add a touch of natural beauty. The result is an elegant and refined pattern, suitable for the most formal of occasions.

Derby Panel Green has remained a popular choice among those who appreciate fine bone china's combination of artistry and craftsmanship. Its timeless design and luxurious detailing make it a standout pattern in Royal Crown Derby's collection.

Royal Antoinette

The Royal Antoinette pattern is a tribute to the opulence and grandeur of the 18th-century French court. Inspired by Marie Antoinette's lavish lifestyle, it features intricate floral garlands, a soft colour palette, and delicate gold detailing.

The Royal Antoinette pattern's origins can be traced back to the French Rococo style, characterized by its ornate and decorative elements. This style, popular during the reigns of Louis XV and Louis XVI, emphasized intricate detailing, pastel colours, and floral motifs.

Royal Crown Derby's Royal Antoinette pattern captures the essence of this rococo style with its elaborate floral garlands and delicate gold accents. Each piece is meticulously hand-painted, showcasing the skill and artistry of Royal Crown Derby's craftsmen. The soft colour palette, featuring shades of pink, blue, and green, adds to the pattern's romantic and luxurious appeal.

Royal Antoinette remains a favourite among collectors and enthusiasts for its historical significance and exquisite design. It embodies the elegance and refinement of the 18th-century French court, making it a standout pattern in Royal Crown Derby's collection.

Top Royal Crown Derby Patterns - Final Thoughts

Royal Crown Derby has a rich history of producing some of the world's most beautiful and desirable fine bone china. The five patterns highlighted in this post - Old Imari, Red Aves, Derby Posies, Derby Panel Green, and Royal Antoinette - are just a few of the many Royal Crown Derby china patterns that reflect the artistry and craftsmanship of this esteemed manufacturer. Whether you are a long-time collector or new to the world of fine bone china, these iconic Royal Crown Derby patterns offer a glimpse into this prestigious brand's rich heritage and enduring appeal.  

Royal Crown Derby at Around the Block

Vintage royal crown derby vase


At Around the Block Consignment in Toronto, you'll discover high-quality, previously owned Royal Crown Derby china that will make a remarkable addition to your collection or a one-of-a-kind gift for someone special in your life. Our distinct selection of preowned fine china, including name brands such as Aynsley, Royal Albert, Royal Doulton, Wedgewood, and more, is ideal for those seeking a unique touch of elegance for their dining experiences. Visit us online or drop by our showroom to discover your favorite china pattern today. 

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