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Richard Abbey (Engraver & Printer)

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1Richard Abbey (1754-1819 was born in Liverpool and apprenticed to John Sadler in 1767. In 1773 he went freelance and opened his own business ‘at No.11 in Clieveland Square Where he Manufactures and Sells all Sorts of QUEEN’S WARE, Printed in the neatest Manner…’ He ‘manufactured’ it only in the sense of printing on it. By 1781 Abbey was in Glasgow where the records of St Andrews by the Green describe him as ‘Richard Abbey painter at the Delfthouse an Englishman.’ At some point he teamed up with a Scot named Henry Graham, described in the 1780s as ‘Delf Houseman.’

Joseph Mayer in 1855 wrote that Abbey next went to Christopher Potter’s factory, known as the Manufacture du Prince de Galles, in the Rue de Crussol in Paris. In 1789 Potter asked for a privilege for a manufacture to paint and print on glass, pottery and porcelain. By the outbreak of war with France in 1793, Abbey had probably returned to Britain.

Mayer wrote that before the founding of the Liverpool Herculaneum Pottery in 1796, Abbey and Graham were on the site that it was to occupy. Abbey is not, however, known to have worked for Herculaneum. He died in Liverpool in 1819. His signature ‘R Abbey sculp[sit]’ means he engraved the copper-plate, and is found with the names of different people to whom he supplied his engraved plates and who printed with them.

For Richard Abbey engravings click here
For Richard Abbey prints click here