Royal Worcester’s development of a new range of ornamental wares in the 1890s was inspired by the European Art Nouveau style, a self-consciously ‘New Art’ and modern movement that did not look to the past, but to nature for it’s inspiration.
Royal Worcester produced fashionable porcelain that was based on organic forms such as shells, gourds, leaves, tree trunks and flower heads. The porcelain was designed to look as though it was made from natural materials, such as coral, ivory, wood and wicker. The most popular shapes included shell dishes and baskets, coral handled jugs, melon jars and tusk jugs. This Diverse range of shapes was decorated with asymmetrical and scattered floral arrangements, called ‘Art Sprays’, in muted colours, embellished with gold.
The range of ware we know today as ‘Blush Ivory’ was so successful by 1900 that Royal Worcester applied the decoration to virtually every shape they could produce, including numerous Indian and Japanese shapes and even Classical figures that had been originally designed for other types of decoration years earlier. This strayed from the original concept of a new, natural style, but still found favour with the middle classes who were desperate to fill their homes with decorative porcelain, which they purchased from the brand new department stores that were opening in major towns.
Excerpt from the Museum of Royal Worcester website