English, 18th century
Dinner plate, 1792
3 x 24.5 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery
One of Worcester’s leading potteries, the Flight (or Davis & Flight) factory rebounded from challenging beginnings to considerable success by 1789 when it was granted the Royal Warrant, thus allowing it to refer to itself as the Worcester Royal Porcelain Manufactory and to serve as official manufacturers for the British Royal Family. This plate belongs to the famed Hope Service, commissioned by the Duke of Clarence, who was later crowned William IV (1765–1837). The extensive service took a year to complete and solidified the reputation of the Flight factory. Painted en grisaille (tones of grey) by John Pennington, each component piece of the service features a different scene of the allegorical figure of Hope along with an anchor, an early Christian symbol for steadfastness, piety, and hope. Pennington came to Flight in 1789, soon becoming one of the pottery’s finest artists. From a family of Liverpool porcelain makers, he was key to Flight’s success and the Hope Service is considered his greatest work.