Now, we're ready to begin ... In 1895, Thomas Clarke Wild joined his father, Thomas Wild, in the purchase of the Albert Works, Longton, Stoke-on-Trent, England. They created their first royal commemorative items in 1897, to honor the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Victoria.
Wild became sole owner on the death of his father in 1898. The St. Mary's Works building in Longton [photo below] was purchased in 1905, and as business prospered, Wild acquired several other pottery factories too. His two sons, Thomas E. Wild and Frederick C. Wild were admitted into partnership in 1917.
Royal Albert was the trading name of the firm, named for Prince Albert, who was crowned King George VI in 1936.
Royal Albert was inspired by everything English - the country garden and England's national flower, the rose. The china is known for its high quality and three virtues: translucency, beauty and durability.
One of the most famous Royal Albert patterns [and the "flagship" of the brand] is Old Country Roses [OCR], launched in 1962, designed by Harold Holdcroft. It was based on an older Royal Albert pattern, Kings Ransom. Old Country Roses continues to be one of the world's most popular, and best selling china patterns.
In 1970, all connection to the founders T.C. Wild & Sons was dropped and the company was renamed Royal Albert Limited.
In 1972, Royal Albert Ltd. became part of the Royal Doulton group.
In 2002, Royal Albert production moved from England to Royal Doulton's facilities in Indonesia.
Currently, Royal Albert is a core brand of WWRD [Waterford, Wedgewood, Royal Doulton] Holding Ltd.
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All of my Old Country Roses tea sets are made in Indonesia - none are from England - but I like them anyway.
Classic Old Country Roses Pattern
Old Country Roses Basket Weave
We used to have a Royal Doulton outlet within reasonable driving distance and that's where I purchased the Old Country Roses Ruby Celebration teapot below. Sadly, the outlet is no longer there.
2002 Old Country Roses House Teapot
It sits high on a shelf in the family room that my hubby built specifically for teapots.
When a dear friend decided to sell her tea room "turn key," she asked me beforehand if there was anything I wanted from the tea room. One of the things I purchased was an Old Country Roses clock she had hanging behind the counter in the gift shop. It was one of the first pieces she bought to decorate the gift shop, that wasn't retail merchandise. I'm always reminded of her and the beautiful tea room whenever I look at it.
I loved it when Home Goods and Marshalls sold Old Country Roses accessory pieces, but I havent seen the pattern there for quite some time.
Below is one of the china cabinets in my home that displays my Royal Albert china. It was the very first piece of quality furniture [Temple Stuart] that my hubby and I purchased after getting out of the military and setting up housekeeping. It has stood the test of time, [three children], and looks almost as good as it did the day we purchased it 43 years ago.
I blogged about a Valentine's tea I gave for my granddaughters here, where I used my Old Country Roses China. It sets a beautiful table.
Tomorrow's post will continue with other Royal Albert patterns.
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I'm joining the following blog parties this week:
Tea Time Tuesday at Rose Chintz Cottage [What's in Your Cabinet?]
Tuesday Cuppa Tea at Antiques and Teacups
Friends Sharing Tea at Bernideen's Tea Time Blog