… beautiful birds from an outstanding porcelain collection …

porcelain worcester c17th

The Ashmolean holds the extraordinary Marshall Collection. This huge bequest of early Worcester porcelain was presented by Mr & Mrs Marshall in memory of their son who was killed in WWII, on the condition that the entire collection (more than a 1000 pieces) is always on show. This can be a little overwhelming at times – however much you admire porcelain.

Instead I like to concentrate on details and so I’m sharing three favourites from the earliest period of manufacture to entice you to linger in the Marshall room.


The Worcester porcelain factory was founded in 1751, at the height of “porcelain mania”. Imported china had been highly admired since the Middle Ages. In 1709 the German Johann Friedrich Böttger successfully worked out the formula and factories began springing up all over Europe in order to satisfy the public demand. These bird details date from the earliest period of Worcester’s history and were created by English ceramicists working in a Chinese or Japanese style.


If you would like to know more about the Ashmolean, here’s their website. I met a friend for lunch at the Rooftop Restaurant which was rather pleasant in the Summer sunshine.

If you would like to know about Royal Worcester Porcelain, here’s a link to their museum.