Royal Worcester porcelain: Remarkable diary of porcelain maker from 1791 ...
Daily Mail reported
A 223-year-old diary of one of the founders of Royal Worcester porcelain reveals how he stole the secrets for the world famous brand - by spying on French potters.
The remarkable log was kept by John Flight, who ran the factory with his brother Joseph during the late 18th Century.
He kept the journals, handwritten in a tiny, elaborate script, from at least 1785 until his untimely death aged just 25 in 1791.
During that time, the factory was beset by a number of technical issues as it tried to keep up with competition from the Far East and Europe.
But its fortunes changed after Flight travelled to Europe to learn the secrets of his company’s competitors.
The extracts were written in 1789 when he snuck into France to spy on the porcelain makers at the start of the French Revolution a year after the company was granted a Royal warrant.
In the passages, young John Flight writes of his apprehension about travelling abroad to learn more about porcelain manufacture, but he also records much of the goings-on in the Worcester-based factory.
In one passage, dated October 1789, he wrote of his research on the continent.
He wrote: 'I go on buying bodys (sic) and glazes to get a tollerable (sic) insight into the manufactory but I much want to do more in this myself.
'I must continue by some method to do it.'
In another, he agonises over an impending trip to France.
He wrote: 'I am fearfull (sic) of leaving the family, that makes me not know what is best about going to France.
'I have hinted to my brother for him to go but hardly think that would do.'
The diary was recently retrieved from the archives at Worcester Porcelain Museum, where it had previously been seen only by curators and scholars.
It was purchased and restored by the museum with the aid of an Art Fund grant before being put on public display for the first time.
Amanda Savidge (corr), director of the museum, said that the diary was a significant item in the brand’s history.
She said: 'It’s an absolutely fantastic handwritten diary dating from 1785 until 1791.