Billingsley William - (1760-1828) (Ceramics) Glossary of Antique Terms B

Billingsley, William - (1760-1828) (Ceramics) Maker and decorator of porcelain, born at Derby and apprenticed there at the Derby factory as china painter, advancing to the position of head decorator by 1790, famed particularly for his flower painting. The first of his ventures in the manufacture of porcelain was at Pinxton, then he went to Mansfield and later to Torksey, Lincolnshire, and then to Worcester (about 1808), finally setting up on his own at Nantgarw in 1813, Swansea in 1814, back to Nantgarw 1817-20, then to Coalport, where he worked for John Rose who obtained his formula. He died in poverty in 1828. Billingsley seems the most attractive of all the English arcanists (those who had to work with him probably thought otherwise); he failed and failed and failed again; but the superb Nantgarw and early Swansea porcelain that remains to us is his monument.


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