Chicago Antiques Guide

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ROYAL WORCESTER Plates - Artist E Barker

Posted Monday, November 11 by CAG

Royal Worcester Plate.jpg I own a set of 12 of what appear to be ROYAL WORCESTER (NOTE SPELLING) Made in England charger plates. They were apparently imported and probably decorated by Burley and Co, Chicago. There appears to be a dealers mark of c 1167 on the back. There is a logo of a crown over a circle with scrolled W's and a C with the a number 51 inside. The name Royal Worcester appears underthe logo. Under this are eight dots with a star in the center. Under the dots it says Made in England.

Royal Worcester detail.jpg These are a set of 12 with green painting embellished with gold on the rim a gold band then ivory embellished with gold on the inside and a signed (appears to be E Barker) picture of flowers in the center. All the pictures are on the same theme but each picture if different. There are at least 8 plates in very good shape and the other four a crazed and two are chipped.

My mother bought them at an art show about fifty years ago. Any information, including their possible value, would be appreciated. Thank you, Pamela

Royal Worcester mark.jpg
That is the correct spelling and the correct mark for Royal Worcester. The 8 dots with the star in the middle is the date code for 1924. They were a special order for Burley (either for a customer order or for general stock, with the Burley name in the mark), but were made and decorated by Royal Worcester.

The artist was Ernest Barker, a Worcester artist. He painted primarily plate centers, cup & saucer sets, and a few vases. His subjects are typically florals (like yours) and sheep (go figure). Cows and sheep are common subjects of paintings in the UK. All Worcester artists were highly skilled.

Plates your size, 10 1/2", are not quite large enough to be considered chargers, usually 12" and up. Although they are dinner or service plate size, most in the business would call a single one of these a cabinet plate. Since it was a set of 12, they were probably bought as service plates. They would be used when the table was set (as place holders), and removed when the first course was served.

Pricing your set is tricky. The green background is probably the least popular color. Your pattern came not only in this green, but cobalt blue (most popular), also burgundy and ivory (both closer to the blue in popularity).

8 Similar Green plates

6 in your pattern but burgundy

10 Cobalt by Barker in similar pattern

12 with Ivory background

All of the above are from the 1920's and even though the pattern might vary slightly and the artist may be different, I believe they are all comparable. Most of the sets sold for about $40-$70 per plate with a few exceptions.

You said that 2 of your plates are crazed. Hard porcelain cannot actually craze. Crazing is when the glaze cracks but the ceramic body does not. Hard porcelain or china is fired at a temperature high enough to fuse the glaze and the body. So, if there are cracks they almost always go all the way through.

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