A look at the design, market and legacy of Victorian pottery

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The National Archive of Great Britain

I recently came across a growing Web site that I thought may be of interest to majolica collectors. Since 2008, Great Britain has been digitizing, and making available online, the complete archive of government records open to the public. This includes birth and death records, service records and immigration records, but what should be of interest to majolica collectors is the digitizing of the British design registers of registered designs in Victorian Great Britain. While this is by no means complete, I believe it's about 5% of the entire archive, the records show a fascinating window into many of the majolica designs we know today.

Who, for example, knew that one of the most commonly available corn pitcher designs found in the majolica market today, was an 1869 registered design of James Ellis and Son?

Or who knew that the famous Samuel Lear Lily of the Valley pitcher of the 1880's was actually stolen from an 1866 registered design of James Edwards and Son?

Of course all the major British potters are represented with Minton and Co. showing the largest number of registered designs.

George Jones is represented on the archive as well.

Of course, Wedgwood is as well.

If you're interested in checking out the Web site go to: http://www.nationalarchives.gov.uk/default.htm

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