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

Sunday, February 3, 2013

The National Trust Homes of Great Britain

With Spring just a little more than a month away many of you will be planning your vacation getaways for the upcoming months. One of the more interesting possibilities is a visit to one of the old country houses of Great Britain. Buoyed in popularity recently by the success of Downton Abby many of these old homes depend on tourists to bring income into the coffers for the maintenance of the large homes and grounds. And many of these old homes have extensive collections of exceptional decorative arts including majolica. An easy way to find places that may be of interest is to check Britain's National Trust Web sites. There you can search for items of interest to see along with their location.

A quick search for majolica in Britain's old National Trust homes brings up a number of interesting possibilities. One of these is Calke Abby, the home of these fabulous pieces of Minton majolica.

The story of Calke Abby is a sad one, an example of the deterioration of these great estates. With deteriorating walls, unusable structures and overgrown gardens, the interior of the home is still filled with priceless treasures among the peeling paint. You can view the remains of the extraordinary collection of decorative arts amassed by the eccentric owners of this once beautiful country house.

Of course there are other museum properties in better condition that one can explore as well, such as Tatton Park, home to a pair of these wonderful Minton ewers...

Tyntesfield, the home of five Copeland tazzas...

and Belton House, home to this lovely Minton desk set.

If you'd like to explore the country homes of Britain yourself, begin with a look at the National Trust Website.