Derby Porcelain notebook – 1822

 

Derby Museums have recently purchased a 19th Century Derby porcelain worker’s notebook. 

 

 

The inside cover is inscribed ‘James Fairbanks, Derby 1822, No of Watch 28538’ and contains recipes and receipts for the production of Derby porcelain. James Fairbanks was a potter who in 1822 succeeded William Porter as overseer of the useful ware department at the Nottingham Road Factory, where he remained until his death in 1837.

 

 

 

Bamfords auctioneers pointed out that the titles of some of the recipes perhaps indicate the level of industrial espionage. It also illustrates the amount of competition between the factories of the day to produce the best and most commercially successful products.

 

 

This is a rare addition to the important porcelain collection that the museum holds.

 

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5 Responses to Derby Porcelain notebook – 1822

  1. Terry says:

    What a wonderful find! I *love* old lab notebooks and diaries, and this is brilliant.

    One note: I think there’s a word missing from the following statement in your article:

    “Bamfords auctioneers pointed out that the titles of some of the recipes in this book would seem________, perhaps to indicate the level of industrial espionage and illustrates the level of competition between the factories of the day to produce the best and most commercially successful products.”

  2. Hello Terry,

    Well spotted! We could play a guess the missing word game!

    We might have to as my colleague at Derby sent through the info for this one, so I will track down the word from him.

    My guess is ‘vague’ or ‘incoherent’. Any other gueses welcome.

    Anna

    • Terry says:

      My guess would be something like “frivolous,” “flowery,” inaccurate,” or “insane”!

  3. Hello Terry,

    Turns out there wasn’t a missing word, but that words were just in a slighly odd order – I need to pay more attention! Anyway, have made the change on the text above. I am now intrigued as to what some of the titles of the recipes are….. I am going to see whether we can get more info and pictures from Derby Museum.

    Anna

    • Terry says:

      I would love to see some of those “indicative” recipe titles myself. Thanks for the update!

      Terry

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