Whether it’s highly personalised bespoke pieces or tableware in a range of quality designs, one china company is a cut above the rest
Choosing bespoke china sets you apart – and puts you in exclusive company. So says Trevor Johnson, managing director of Caverswall China, which was awarded the royal warrant from the Prince of Wales in 2008.
“We have made tableware for Highgrove House, often decorated with flowers or trees, in keeping with the prince’s love of nature,” he says.
The company, based in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, has also supplied giftware for the prince and the Duchess of Cornwall, and supplied coffee cups and saucers presented as gifts to guests at events such as dinners mounted by the Royal Ballet, of which the prince is president.
The prince’s royal warrant, as well as being a guarantee of fine quality, also means customers can be confident that they are buying from a “green” company. In fact, the Prince of Wales was the first of the royal warrant grantors to demand that warrant holders demonstrate a positive environmental programme for the future.
“We had to produce reports on our environmental policies, explaining how we recycle all our scrap clay back to the supplier, so it can be used again, and how all our metal and paper waste is recycled,” says Johnson.
“As well as scrap paper that is taken away for recycling, we also recycle some waste paper by shredding it for packaging.” The company’s effluent and clay slurry is also collected and taken away by tanker for use in land reclamation.
Others who appreciate Caverswall’s bespoke china include Sir Elton John, Tina Turner, Sir Paul McCartney and Sir Michael Caine.
“Our team of designers and highly skilled painters can produce and decorate china to order,” says Johnson.
“One customer had a Churchill room in his castle for which he wanted giftware, vases and wall plaques decorated with images of Winston Churchill, which he supplied. Another sent a picture of the family cat on the lawn which we had painted on to a large lidded vase.”
Individually painted pieces, such as vases or plates featuring favourite pets, are often ordered as gifts for birthdays and anniversaries. “They require detailed work by skilled artists and multiple firings, and cost from about £500 to several thousand pounds,” says Johnson.
The company also has experience of producing for Middle East collectors, who typically enjoy designs decorated with raised gold and platinum.
As well as one-off pieces, Caverswall produces bespoke collections, such as tableware for homes, private aircraft or yachts, and promotional items, and offers monogramming and cresting services.
The company is also well known for collectors’ plates, featuring subjects including birds and flowers, and anniversary plates. Its commemorative ware includes a collection of limited edition items celebrating the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee in 2012.
Caverswall also supplies 13 patterns of tableware in traditional and modern designs, available through its website and luxury retailers such as Fortnum and Mason, Asprey and glass and china specialist Thomas Goode.
“We are extremely proud of our royal warrant, which recognises our commitment to the quality and care which has been the hallmark of the potteries since the 18th century,” says Johnson.