A luxury company with a factory in the Black Country is a favorite of the royal family. Halcyon Days has a factory in Wolverhampton, where staff spend hours making all their glazes by hand.
He had a rare chance to display his collection of products in front of the Queen when staff recently visited Windsor Castle. The Queen had planned to visit the company’s second factory in Fenton, Stoke-on-Trent, in 2020.
But the visit – marking the 70th anniversary of Halycon Days – had to be put on hold due to the pandemic, reports StokeonTrentLive. Instead, the staff decided to bring their factory tour to Windsor and put on a show for the Queen.
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Halcyon Days, which also makes fine china and jewellery, is one of 14 companies worldwide to hold all three royal warrants. It is also the sole supplier of works of art to the royal household.
Among the items on display in the White Drawing Room were hand-decorated teapots, coffee cups and saucers, all made in Stoke-on-Trent. The Queen also watched a demonstration of traditional enameling and hand-gilding by highly skilled artists from the company’s factories.
Master gilder Susan Jones performed the demonstrations for the Queen along with master craftsman enameller Susan Shakespeare. Ms Jones said: “It was a really, really wonderful experience and an experience not many people have had and I’m still a bit in shock. We were so nervous but Her Majesty’s nature made us feel so relaxed. It was absolutely amazing.”
Halcyon Days, which is headquartered in London’s Knightsbridge, is proud of its heritage and skilled workforce in Stoke-on-Trent – and calls the city the ‘home of the English pottery industry’ on its website. It is also proud of its links with Wolverhampton, the ‘traditional’ activity remaining at the heart of the origin of the industry in the 18th century.
Since 2015, the company has also owned Caverswall China, based in Fenton, which was founded in 1973 and received its own Royal Warrant as a manufacturer of fine china in 2008. A page on the Halcyon Days website walks buyers through the process of high quality workmanship. merchandise and states that the “company’s secret fine china formula contains one of the highest percentages of calcium of any manufacturer”.
He says: “The first examples of fine china were created in London in 1748, but the first commercially successful porcelain was made by potters in Stoke-on-Trent in the 1790s, the same town where Halcyon Days and his sister company, Fellow Royal Warrant Holder, Caverswall China has its factory and manufacture today. Because of this knowledge and heritage, fine English bone china remains the most sought after porcelain in the world.
“Each piece of our fine English china has been handcrafted, from clay to finished product, by hand in our factory in Stoke-on-Trent. A small team of master craftsmen, potters and craftsmen use skills passed down from generation to generation to create entirely handmade ranges of fine porcelain tableware and tableware.
“From the enameling of the fine china tea cups to the gilding of their matching saucers, each element is crafted with an attention to detail that no other fine china can boast. The level of skill and knowledge required to create the exquisite finished product is a marvel to behold.”
The Queen Mother was a fan of the company’s designs and first commissioned an enamel box in 1970 from her London house Clarence House. Other members of the Royal Family soon followed suit and the Queen Mother then issued the society’s first Royal Warrant in 1972.
At the hearing in Windsor, the Queen also saw Halcyon Days’ first ‘box of the year’ – from the 1977 Silver Jubilee – and saw new Platinum Jubilee coins which are dark blue and painted with platinum flowers of the kingdom.
The website also said: “In the digital age where mass-produced products take over, Halcyon Days has become the guardian of enamel craftsmanship. We are a company with tradition – all of our enamels are made in handmade in our own factory in Wolverhampton, the heart of the origin of the industry in the 18th century.”
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