New collection for the Royal Wedding
Potters in Staffordshire have made the first ever Loving Cup ahed of the Royal Wedding.
The fine bone china two-handled cup -was hand-gilded this week at a pottery in Stoke with the entwined initials C and W in gold and silver.
The Royal couple approved the new design, which is decorated with a pattern of doves, white ribbons and hearts in silver, gold and grey.
Inside the tankard are rows of tiny hearts and two silver doves holding a gold wedding ring.
Each is made with several layers of burnished gold and platinum before a final layer of gilding is applied by hand in 22-carat gold.
- Prices for pieces from the Official Royal Wedding Commemorative China range are as follows: Tankard £35, plate £40, pill box £25.
- All Royal Collection pieces come in a presentation box and are wrapped in white tissue-paper printed with designs inspired by the wall hangings in Clarence House.
- The range can be viewed at www.royalcollection.org.uk
There will only be 1,000 of them made for the Collection and gilder Linda Hancox said working on the first ever Loving Cup was a nerve-wracking task.
Her hand was shaking, she said, as she put paintbrush to tanker for the first time. But it was an "exciting experience", she added.
The factory in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, is also creating a special tankard and pill box in honour of the marriage and orders have sky-rocketed since the announcement of the wedding.
Nuala McGourty, retail director for the Royal Collection, said the factory, which employs 40 people, had nearly quadrupled its output since it was appointed as one of the official potters for the wedding china.
Around 70,000 pieces had been made since the royal wedding china went on sale in December and demand had not decreased, she said.
"We have demand that has really outstripped our capacity, which is wonderful news for Stoke, it's wonderful news for the factory and it's wonderful news for us at the Royal Collection that there is such a high demand for a product that is to celebrate this very joyful occasion."
She also said there was never any chance the Royal Collection would have gone offshore to produce the official wedding china, which has been made in Stoke ever since it went on sale.
She said: "This is really important for the area because it's enabled them to actually generate a lot more jobs into the factories, it's enabled them to keep the skills which are very, very important.
"In the factories there's a lot of hand made processes, a lot of skills that need to actually be preserved in this area if we're going to carry on making china in this old fashioned, traditional way."