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The Royal Crown Derby Porcelain Company is the oldest or second oldest remaining English porcelain manufacturer, based in Derby, England (disputed by Royal Worcester, who claim 1751 as their year of establishment).
The company, particularly known for its high-quality bone china, has produced tableware and ornamental items since approximately 1750.
It was known as 'Derby Porcelain' until 1773, when it became 'Crown Derby', the 'Royal' being added in 1890.
Chinese porcelain was exported to Europe as early as the 1100s, but it was rare and only available to the very wealthy.
In 1745 André Planché, a Huguenot immigrant from Saxony, settled in Derby, where between 17 he made soft-paste porcelain vases and figurines.
At the beginning of 1756 he formed a business partnership with William Duesbury (1725–1786), a porcelain painter formerly at Chelsea porcelain factory and Longton Hall, and the banker John Heath.
A talented entrepreneur, Duesbury developed a new body which contained glass frit, soapstone and calcined bone.
This enabled the factory to begin producing high-quality tableware.