Barr, Flight & Barr
Barr, Flight & Barr (1804 -1813)
In 1804 Martin Barr Junior (c.1784-1848) joined in partnership with his father and Joseph Flight. The
next decade was to be exceptionally successful; some of the finest quality British porcelain was made
at the Warmstry factory.
Porcelain services were made up at a customer's request with views of his own properties and
grounds, local beauty spots and landmarks. English aristocrats travelled around Britain in search of
Picturesque and beautiful landscapes. Prints of country houses were published and fashionable
places such as Cheltenham, Worcester and Malvern were depicted on porcelain, alongside famous
beauty spots such as Warwick castle, Carisbrooke Castle and High Tor near Matlock.
During the late 18th century scientific enquiry replaced Curiosity hunting and representations of
collectables such as foreign and rare feathers, shells, minerals and plants became more accurate.
Botanical recording also gained popularity through publications such as Curtis's Botanical magazine.
Rare specimens were painted on porcelain, usually copied from printed books and flowers were also
painted in a more traditional style from Dutch Still Life painting. Barr, Flight & Barr employed the
THE FLIGHT & BARR
PARTNERSHIPS 1783 - 1840
infamous rogue and artistic genius, William Billingsley from 1808.
Employed first as a painter, he must have influenced those working with him, before moving on to
help Samuel Walker, who was experimenting with new kilns and materials. Billingsley and Walker left
Worcester around 1813 for Nantgarw.
During the late 18th and early 19th centuries Chinese porcelain decorated with the family Coat of
Arms was a great status symbol. The porcelain took years to arrive and was sometimes full of
mistakes, as Chinese artists did not understand the painting instructions sent to them.Worcester
produced a magnificent alternative, whiter with brighter colours and more readily available, becoming
the height of fashion in the early 19th century. The customer accounts of this period would read like a
'Who's Who' of the day. Rich 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 elite, led by The Prince of Wales, favoured extravagant styles which could not be imitated
cheaply, keeping one step ahead of the increasingly wealthy industrial and merchant classes. The
Prince of Wales was criticised by his contemporaries for his eccentric decoration of Brighton pavilion.
He spent huge sums of money on porcelain, buying at least six rich services from the Worcester
factory. The Prince's love of red, blue and gold Imari designs is reflected in two of his dessert
services made by Barr, Flight & Barr in 1807. In the same year he awarded the company his Royal