New Book | A Potted History

Posted in books by Editor on July 18, 2016

From ACC Distribution:

Stella Beddoe, A Potted History: Henry Willett’s Ceramic Chronicle of Britain (Woodbridge: Antique Collectors Club, 2015), 352 pages, ISBN: 978-1851498116, £45 / $90.

imageThe Willett Collection at the Brighton Museum & Art Gallery is the only collection formed to illustrate what 19th-century businessman Henry Willett called ‘popular British history’. The collection of nearly 2,000 items is arranged here in chapters corresponding to Willett’s own cataloguing system. Many of the groupings commemorate historical events and personalities, such as ‘Royalty and Loyalty’, its content running from the Tudors through to Queen Victoria, and ‘Statesmen’, with its ceramic representations of Disraeli and Gladstone. Other chapters focus on social history, from the grisly murder in the Red Barn to bull baiting, pugilism, animal husbandry and teetotalism.

Stella Beddoe’s engaging, informative text places each item in context, exploring the maker and the subject matter depicted. The introduction on Henry Willett the man reveals the life that spawned such a diverse, irreplaceable collection of ceramics. The items, depicted in more than 800 colour illustrations, comprise hollow ware and flat ware, ornamental busts and figures, dating from the late sixteenth to the late nineteenth centuries. They represent a complete range of ceramic bodies and manufacturing technology.

Stella Beddoe worked at Brighton Royal Pavilion & Museums as Keeper of Decorative Art (including the Willett Collection) and, later, Senior Keeper, from 1978 to 2012.

◊  ◊  ◊  ◊  ◊


1  Henry Willett, The Man and The Collection
2  Royalty and Loyalty
3  Military Heroes
4  Naval Heroes
5  Soldiers and Sailors
6  England and France
7  England and America
8  Statesmen
9  Clubs and Societies, and Professions and Trades
10 Philanthropy
11 Crime
12 Architecture
13 Scripture History and Religion
14 Music and Drama
15 Poetry Science and Literature
16 Sporting and Field Sports
17 Pastimes and Amusements
18 Agriculture
19 Conviviality and Teetotalism
20 Domestic Incidents





Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s