A Tale of Two Williams
Hot from the press: A Tale of Two Williams - my new column in Homes & Antiques. This month I shine the light on two wonderful porcelain decorators, both called William but they couldn't be more different!
A small Pinxton coffee can painted by William Billingsley. Credit: Bonhams
William Billingsly was a brilliant but difficult man who left behind a trail of debts, broken hearts and mystery - but he was also one of the most important people in the history British porcelain. Billingsley revolutionised the way British decorators painted flowers; he added a freedom and artistry that now singles out British flower painting, and he created a new technique for painting roses. He then set up his own potteries in Pinxton and Nantgarw and created some of the best porcelain ever made, before running off again and ending his days at Coalport painting flowers.
A Derby dish by William "Quaker" Pegg, ca 1815. Credit: Royal Crown Derby Museum