The museum’s collection covers everything from Ancient Greek pottery to the latest in contemporary practice.
This collection began in 1910 when a Preston solicitor, Cedric Houghton, left a bequest of around 400 items of pottery and porcelain to the Harris. Houghton’s expressed wish was that his personal collection should form the basis of a larger collection, and this has been the case. The ceramic collection now numbers almost 2,400 items, most of which are British but there are sizeable groups of Chinese, Japanese and European wares.
The collection largely shows the development of British ceramics from the 1600s to the mid-1900s. Highlights include Wedgwood jasperware, Staffordshire figures and early English porcelain as well as examples of loving cups, posset pots, punch bowls, tea sets and dinner services. Other significant personal collections are the Smith Collection of English Porcelain, the Bradshaw Collection of English Coffee Cups and the Millington Tile Collection.
There are also lots of commemorative pots on display – many of which have strong connections to Preston. These include temperance ceramics and Preston Guild ceramics from 1822 to 2012.
Collecting has recently focused on post-1900s studio and commercial ceramics with purchases of work by Bernard Leach, Katharine Pleydell-Bouverie and Clarice Cliff. Contemporary works include James Tower, Carol McNichol, Halima Cassell, Shigekazu Nagae Natasha Daintry, Morgan Dowdall and Malene Hartmann Rassmusen.
Around 600 items from this collection are on display. Items not on display are in our stores and are available to view by appointment. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Ceramics & Glass Gallery on the 1st floor
This collection is free to visit
Title: Mermaid Scent Bottle
Object number: F2250
Title: ‘Tea for Two’ tea set painted with Gibraltar seascape
Object number: 2013.29
Artist: Clarice Cliff
Title: Charger decorated in slip with well in centre and hatched border
Made: Bernard Leach
Object number: 2012.74
Title: Harlequinn Shifts – carved stoneware bowl
Object number: 2008.23
Artist: Halima Cassell
Title: NS-02 Forms in Succession
Object number: 2013.21
Artist: Shigekazu Nagae
Title: Vase with moulded dragon in stoneware
Made: By Doulton Lambeth from a design by the artist Mark V Marshall
Date: c. 1900
Object number: ce865
Title: Figure of a bird standing on vegetation in painted earthenware
Made: In Staffordshire
Object number: ce584
Title: Vase with tripod legs and base in black basaltware
Made: In Staffordshire
Object number: ce279
Title: Tea set in white porcelain decorated with floral pattern and insects
Made: Made in China, decorated in Worcester
Object number: ce155
Title: Model of cradle in brown tones decorated with cream slip
Object number: ce180
Title: Teapot marked ‘War Against Hiterlism’ made for Dyson & Horsfall
Made: A. G. Richardson & Company, Tunstall, Staffordshire as part of their Crown Ducal range
Object number: 1994.12
Title: Bowl decorated with 2 fish in green-glazed porcelain with gold repair
Made: In China
Date: Between 960-1368
Object number: ce571