Keys, Samuel (DNB00)

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KEYS, SAMUEL (1771–1850), china-painter, born in 1771, was one of the principal gilders and china-painters in the old Derby china factory under William Duesbury the elder [q. v.], to whom Keys was articled. He was an excellent workman, and much of the success of the china, especially the figures in the Dresden style, was owing to his skill in decoration. Keys quitted Derby some years before the close of the factory, and went to work under Minton at Stoke-upon-Trent. He returned later to Derby, where he died in 1850, in his eightieth year. Keys preserved his delicacy of execution to the last. He collected materials for the history of the Derby china factory, which form the foundation of subsequent accounts.

Keys left three sons, all apprenticed at the Derby factory. John Keys (1797–1825) became a skilled flower-painter in water-colour, and teacher of that art. Edward Keys left Derby, and subsequently went to work for Messrs. Minton, Daniell, and others in the Potteries. Samuel Keys the younger excelled in modelling small figures; he left Derby in 1830, and went to the Potteries, where he carried on a small manufactory of his own, besides working for the leading manufacturers there.

[Haslem's Old Derby China Factory.]

L. C.