Description: Highlighted in Bonham's Catalogue: A collection now arranged in approximately 140 large folio boxes. An item can range from a single large design to in excess of 200 watercolours. This section contains the Dresser and pugin drawings, which are listed in some detail as appendices. Note: It was in the nature of the design archive that at any time items were being sought for use on the on hand, while others were waiting to be returned to their proper location. The latter, when the archive was removed from the Royal Doulton factory at Nile Street., were tempoarily transferred to a group of unnumbered similar boxes, where they remain. Our experience was that any deficiency in the number of drawings called for by the catalogue, was made good by their discovery in one of the temporary boxes, or in a few cases, that watercolours by the best artists had been framed-up.
Art and Design is the bulkiest section in the Minton archives. The "Designs, drawings, prints, art materials, etc." section posed a great problem initially to the cataloguer: in what order are those 250-odd tattered portfolios and bundles to be placed? There were, however, indications on many of the portfolios and their contents, of an original order - letters and/or numbers. The letter-sequence was eventually explained by SD 1705/MS1234 in this collection. This manuscript is a catalogue of the Minton art materials as they were in 1871, classified by capital letter, as follows: A - Boucher, Watteau, etc. B - Best figures. C - Cupids. CC - Chinese documents. CCC - Japanese documents. D - Figures ordinary. E - Ornament. F - Birds. G - Majolica. H - Landscapes. HH - Heads. I - Animals. J - Trophies. JJ - Old Svres. K - Choice ornaments. L - Forms. M - Designs. N - Ceramic copies, studies, etc. O - Sgraffito and pâte-sur-pâte. P - Antique vases, Renaissance, etc. PP - Persian. PPP - Persian tiles. Q - Photographs. R - Architecture and wall decorations. RR - Drawings of old Svres vases. S - Gothic ornaments (Note: "S" was later used to denote "Studio" items) T - Palissy and Limoges. U - Tiles. V - Medals and cameos. W - Fruit. WW - Wallpapers. X - Paintings, drawings, etc, of flowers, other than lithographs. XX - Lithographs and engravings of flowers. XXX - Not explained. Y - Butterflies, moths, insects, reptiles, etc. YY - Feathers. Z - Fishes. ZZ - Shells and seaweed.
The number-sequence is inconclusive, in that no explanatory key to the numbers Has been found. They presumably represent a later attempt to re-classify the art materials, and indeed, in many instances, all the items in a single portfolio are stamped with the same number. Where they exist, both letters and numbers are quoted as "Class letter" and "Folio number". In order to reduce the number of miscellaneous bundles and portfolios, the cataloguer has allocated to the appropriate letter, as many unclassified items as possible: these are marked with the "Class letter" in square brackets. It is regretted that so many of the following items have no date and no artists' names. However, where a date has been found on even one leaf in a bundle, this has, faute de mieux, been taken as cataloguing date for the whole item. Artists' names, where given on the actual sketches and drawings, etc, appear in brackets at the end of each entry.