The Pendock Barry Porcelain Service: A Forensic Evaluation 2023


Heraldic devices first appeared on ceramics in Western Europe from the sixteenth century onwards; however, it was not until the 1760s that British ceramic manufactories began executing commissions for services displaying heraldic devices for the gentry.


This book explores the rise of the new gentry class and the market for armorial services through the case study of the Pendock Barry service. The case study is presented from three angles. It looks at Pendock Neale Barry (1757–1833) who commissioned the service, then considers the evidence for attributing the service to the Derby factory during the period 1805–1810, and finally looks at the evidence supporting an attribution of the decoration to Billingsley.


The case study sets out a novel approach to understanding heraldic devices on ceramics by bringing together the disciplines of detailed genealogical research, cultural knowledge, and chemical analytical compositional data. This multidisciplinary approach enables the armorial services to be considered and understood through the lens of heritage, culture, and science.
Table of contents :
About the Authors
1 The Origins of Heraldic Porcelain
1.1 The Origins of Heraldry and Coats-Of-Arms
1.2 Components of Armorial Bearings
1.3 What Constitutes an Armorial Porcelain Service?
1.4 Earliest Examples of English Porcelain Armorials
2 The Gentry and Heraldic Device Display
2.1 Origins of Heraldic Display
2.2 College of Arms and the Visitations
2.3 Heraldic Display for Status and Possessions
2.4 Public Display Within Private Spaces
2.5 Churches
2.6 Luxury Products and Goods in the Eighteenth Century
2.7 Armorials on Ceramics
2.8 Armorials on Services Manufactured in England and Wales 1740–1810
2.9 Social Mobility
2.10 Armorials as Decorative Art
2.11 Armorials by Royal Licence
2.12 Conclusion
3 The Development of Armorial Porcelains
3.1 Porcelain as Diplomatic Gifts
3.2 Early European Armorial Porcelains
3.2.1 Medici Porcelain, Florence
3.2.2 Rouen Porcelain, France
3.2.3 Early English Manufactories
3.3 Armorial Artefacts at the Georgian Dinner Table
3.4 Difficulties in Production of an Armorial Service
3.5 Named Porcelain Services
4 Case History: The Commissioning of the Pendock Barry Service
4.1 Biography: Pendock Neale Barry (1757–1833)
4.2 Family Connection to the Barry Surname and Armorials
4.3 The Pendock Family
4.4 The Neale Family
4.5 Dynastic Ambition
4.6 Conclusion
5 Manufacture of the Pendock Barry Dessert Service
5.1 The Origin of Derby Porcelain
5.2 Date of Manufacture of the Pendock Barry Dessert Service
5.3 Composition of the Derby Paste
5.4 The Raw Materials of Ceramics
5.5 Mineral Formation Identified at the Kiln Temperatures
5.6 Chemical Reactions that Occur in Raw Material Mixtures at Elevated Temperatures
5.7 Conclusion
6 Pendock Barry Service: Attribution of the Decoration
6.1 The Basis of Uncertainty
6.2 Candidate Decorators of the Pendock Barry Service
6.3 Reappraisal of Billingsley as Decorator of the Pendock Barry Service
6.4 Conclusion
7 Conclusion
7.1 Heraldic Armorials on Porcelain
7.2 Pendock Neale Barry and His Armorials
7.3 Pendock Barry Service Rediscovered
7.4 Derby Attribution
7.5 Dating the Service
7.6 The Decorator of the Pendock Barry Service
7.7 Conclusion
Appendix A The Pendock Barry Dessert Service
A.1 Provenance and Known Pieces of the Pendock Barry Double Dessert Service
Appendix B The Attendees at Pendock Barry Barry’s Masked Ball, Argylle Rooms
-4pt- Glossary