Merry Christmas from The Minton Archive

It’s time once again to leaf through the pages of Hildesheimer & Faulkner’s Christmas and New Year Cards Prize Designs to find a suitably festive scene for our final blog post of 2016, though as with last year we had to pick our way through many a flowery bouquet and warm, summery vista to uncover a truly wintery tableau…

We also thought we’d take the opportunity to pick out a few of our favourite Minton-related moments from the past 12 months and highlight them below. This is not a numbered list under a suitably enticing “click-bait” headline however – The Minton Archive website is too civilised a place for that!

We were all bowled over by the “Hizen Vase” folio we discovered as we worked to arrange and fit The Minton Archive on our shelves, and equally fascinated by the puzzle of illustrations contained within it. However, finding out that the vase actually exists – and stands 4½ feet tall! – was by far the true highlight of that series of posts.

We’ve spoken about Eliza Smallwood many times here on the blog – our posts about her as a china enameller, and as a wife and mother, show how powerful the Archive’s social history element can be. In the last post to reference her we said that there would probably be more Eliza Smallwood “name drops” to come, and we were right! We’re itching to share another part of Eliza’s story with you at some point in the new year – stay tuned for that…

We’ve very much enjoyed bringing you close-up views (quite literally) of the Archive in our Folio Friday series, which we’re continuing into 2017, and also in our various Pairing Up posts, which we updated not too long ago. We also have to highlight our 1000 images milestone, which we’re rather proud of, truth be told!

In September of this year we welcomed Jess Hyslop to the blog, the Minton Archive’s project conservator. She’s already written two “in depth” posts introducing us to her conservation work and explaining what gives springback bindings their spring, and they’re a fascinating insight into what goes on “behind the scenes” to keep these documents and volumes accessible to everyone. Keep your eyes peeled for further posts in the new year…

Lastly we’d like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas from The Minton Archive – see you in 2017!

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