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.
Gwendoline Muriel Parnell ( 1878 – 1957 )
Born in Gibraltar she was the daughter of Arthur Parnell, a Colonel in the Royal Engineers. Gwendoline ran a pottery, Chelsea Cheyne pottery, from about 1918 and may have started making figurines before this date. There are examples of her work in the Victoria and Albert Museum collection as well as some records in the National Art Library of the successful pottery she ran in Chelsea. She was one of several female artists in the 1930s commissioned to submit figures to the Royal Worcester factory. Parnell died in Gloucestershire.