Public appeal launched to keep 18th century china and huge vase in museum collection

By Culture24 Reporter | 07 August 2016

Some of the most striking china ever produced in Britain could be lost from public collections if a fundraising bid fails

A photo of a vase from northumberland with blue and gold decorations
The Northumberland Vase - which could cost £50,000 at auction - is one of the most important pieces in the collection of the Coalport China Museum. Its panels are believed to have been painted by William Cooke and either Robert Abrahams or James Rous© Courtesy Coalport China Museum
Five pieces of precious china and a huge vase first exhibited in London more than 150 years ago could be lost from public gaze forever unless Coalport China Museum – one of the ten venues at the Ironbridge World Heritage Site in Shropshire – can raise thousands of pounds in two public appeals.

Five beautiful works of Caughley and Coalport china, including a square salad bowl decorated with images of the towering Iron Bridge, are being auctioned by their owner for £12,000, having lived at the museum for more than 30 years.

Caughley products were made in the nearby town of Brosele between 1775 and 1799, gaining the factory a reputation as one of the country’s finest soft-paste porcelain suppliers. A Coalport “Loving Cup” and two Coalport plaques exquisitely painted by ceramic master John Randall are also being sold.

a photo of a small white china cup with ornate gold handles and an illustration within
The Loving Cup is decorated with images of the Forest Glen and Buildwas Abbey © Courtesy Coalport China Museum
The star of the auction, according to curators, will be the opulent Northumberland Vase, made by Coalport and adorned with elaborate handles, gilt scrolling and beautiful panels in one of the largest pieces of the china ever made.

Expected to raise £50,000, it was created to advertise the superior quality of the company’s ornamental china for the 1862 International Exhibition in London, winning a bronze medal and the admiration of its subsequent buyer, Lord Percy, the Duke of Northumberland, who kept it at Alnwick Castle.

All donations for the vase will be considered pledges until the museum wins the auction.


Three museums to see amazing china in

Nantgarw China Works Museum
Find out where this now world famous porcelain was made. You can also see a bottle kiln, find out the history of The Glamorganshire Canal and discover the history behind the man who produced the now famous Nantgarw porcelain, William Billingsley.

A World in Miniature Museum, Carlisle
This truly amazing museum contains of one the world's top three collections of quality miniatures, from remarkable 1/12 scale copies of antique furniture, paintings and china in beautiful room settings to everyday items.

Thirsk Museum
Step back in time to the beginning of the 20th century in the permanent Edwardian Sitting Room display, where a lady and her young maid can be seen by the fireside, surrounded by cabinets of fine china, intricate needlework and other treasures.
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