Royal Worcester was established in 1751 and is believed to be the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain brand still in existence today (this is disputed by Royal Crown Derby, which claims 1750 as its year of establishment). Part of the Portmeirion Group since 2009, Royal Worcester remains in the luxury tableware and giftware market, although production in Worcester itself has ended.
Technically, the Worcester Royal Porcelain Co. Ltd. (known as Royal Worcester) was formed in 1862, and wares produced before that time are known as Worcester porcelain, although the company had a royal warrant from 1788. The enterprise has followed the pattern of other leading English porcelain brands, with increasing success during the 18th and 19th centuries, then a gradual decline during the 20th century, especially the latter half.
In the 20th century, Royal Worcester’s most popular pattern has been “Evesham Gold”, first offered in 1961, depicting the autumnal fruits of the Vale of Evesham with fine gold banding on an “oven to table” body.
Doris Lindner was born in Llanyre in Radnorshire, South Wales in 1896. She studied sculpture at St Martin’s School of Art in London, the British Academy in Rome and at Calderon’s Animal School in London. Both her Abstract Sculpture and her Art Deco modelswere exhibited in Heals store in London in the 1920s, where Joseph Gimson, Managing Director of Royal Worcester, saw them.
Doris Lindner’s first models for Royal Worcester were of dogs, other small animals and Art Deco figure studies, followed by a series of zoo babies. In 1935 she started a number of horse group models that proved very successful including ‘At the Meet’ and ‘Huntsman and Hounds’, which were made over a number of years. In 1948, Doris Lindner modelled Princess Elizabeth on Tommy, which was issued as the very first equestrian Limited Edition, establishing her reputation. The plaster maquette (or model) was commissioned for the Coronation in 1953 by Selfridges of London, who erected the full size model over their main door during the celebrations. During the next decade, she modelled many animals and figures for general production, including some birds and animal studies.
In the 1960s, Doris Lindner modelled a fantastic series of horses, equestrian studies and bulls, all studied from life. She travelled widely to gather information about her subjects. She consulted breeding societies and journeyed to America to study champion cattle in Texas. Miss Lindner worked in plasticine; she cut her models into sections before bringing them to the factory and always asked for her materials back in order to re-use them. The Limited Editions designed and modelled by Miss Lindner reached the height of popularity in the 1960s and she worked untiringly until she was over 80 years old. Doris Lindner died in 1979.