In Depth

In this section we’ll be documenting our own in-depth project work as well as featuring long-form articles from institutions, researchers, collectors, and more. We hope to expand this page over time as people study, enjoy and contribute to the World of Minton Scholarship.

Our Latest In Depth Article

Lead poisoning had a prolonged history of causing suffering for those involved in many trades over the centuries and across the world – particularly the pottery industry with its use of lead glazes. This is the story of two people involved with Minton in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, who helped to change legislation in the United Kingdom effectively controlling the use of lead-based glazes.

Michael Prendergast, retired architect and local historian

The Killer Glazes: The influence of a ceramicist from France and an Irish doctor on the health of pottery workers in England · 16 minute read.

Previous articles in our In Depth series

In the mid-nineteenth century, Minton was one of the leading producers of objects in a new material known as ‘Parian ware’. Between about 1846 and 1910, the Minton ceramic factory produced over 500 different designs for Parian figures, including busts, replicas of well-known works, and newly commissioned pieces…

Johanna Roethe, art and architectural historian working for Historic England

The Statues of the People: Minton’s Parian Ware Figures · 4 minute read.

The Ceramic Staircase at the South Kensington Museum is one of the greatest examples of experimentation in ceramic relief sculpture and deserves serious thought in order to unpick what exactly it was trying to achieve in the context of the South Kensington Museum ethos – the fusion of art and industry.

Dr. Charlotte Drew, Henry Moore Post-Doctoral Research Fellow, University of Bristol

The Ceramic Staircase: Minton and the Reinvention of Luca della Robbia at the South Kensington Museum · 21 minute read.

The Minton factory was the shining nineteenth century example of art uniting with industry, combining an investment in design alongside the development of pioneering ceramic technology. Nowhere was this more apparent than in its development of majolica glazes…

Claire Blakey, former curator at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery

Minton Majolica: A Visual Feast of Victorian Opulence · 4 minute read.

Dresser’s lively imagination created shapes and decoration unique to himself. His knowledge of the materials of modern industry combined with the skills of a draughtsman and the eye of an artist made Dresser one of the most important designers of his time…

Joan Jones, Museum Curator at Minton and Royal Doulton, 1979 onwards

Dr Christopher Dresser and the Minton Connection · 4 minute read.

Minton is one of the world’s great china houses. With two hundred years of uninterrupted manufacture, its survival is in itself remarkable. But far more remarkable is the extraordinarily vibrant and varied tradition which Minton represents…

Stuart Lyons CBE, Chief Executive of Royal Doulton Plc 1985-1997

In Depth: Preface · 1 minute read.

Truth, Beauty, Power

This ongoing series highlights one or more artworks from the Dresser Portfolio as detailed images, galleries, or interactive comparisons, sharing the wonderful details found within the Archive’s Christopher Dresser artworks.

View posts in this series

Magnificent Majolica

This 12 part series highlights one or more artworks from our special Art & Design folio as detailed images, galleries, or interactive comparisons, sharing the opulence and exuberance of the Archive’s majolica designs.

View posts in this series


In August 2016 work began on a one-year conservation project for The Minton Archive. Funding for the project was kindly provided by The Pilgrim Trust, through the National Manuscripts Conservation Trust, and the Art Fund, with a contribution from The Wolfson Foundation. As a result, we had a full-time conservator working on a range of items from the collection.

For this project, a selection of bound volumes and loose artworks were identified for conservation, so that they can safely be made available to the public for research. You can see how the project progressed in the articles below.

View the conservation articles