New Book | Delftware in the Fitzwilliam Museum

Posted in books, catalogues, museums by Editor on June 14, 2013

From Philip Wilson’s current catalogue:

Michael Archer, Delftware in the Fitzwilliam Museum (London: Philip Wilson Publishers, 2012), 464 pages, ISBN: 978-1781300022, £55 / $95.

9781781300022_p0_v3_s600This complete catalogue of the English and Irish delftware in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge, reveals much that is beautiful and unusual. The greater part of the collection was bequeathed by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher in 1928, and much of it is little known. A detailed publication has long been overdue, and 588 items are illustrated here in colour, many with multiple views. The strength of Dr Glaisher’s collection is the English earthenware of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, particularly delftware: no better assemblage has ever been made by a single collector. He amassed objects with great academic rigour over a period of more than thirty years, concentrating particularly on dated pieces while always exercising a discriminating and aesthetical eye. Michael Archer’s catalogue provides details of date and place of manufacture, size, body, glaze, decoration and provenance with a full discussion where appropriate.

Julia Poole has contributed a fascinating chapter with much new material on Dr Glaisher’s life and the extraordinary breadth of his collecting interests. There is also a general introduction to delftware, including a description of the manufacturing process; further sections give indexes and exhaustive information on all the works. This book is an essential addition to the library of all scholars, collectors,auction rooms and dealers in the field and invaluable to those members of the public with an interest in the history of English pottery generally and delftware in particular.

Michael Archer, O.B.E, M.A., F.S.A. is a former Keeper of the Ceramics Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum where he becamethe acknowledged expert on English delftware. He has written numerous articles and books on ceramics, culminating in Delftware: The Tin-Glazed Earthenware of the British Isles, a catalogue of the collections inthe Victoria and Albert Museum, published in 1997.

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