When Gaseliers Appear (Again!)

At the end of our last post we mentioned Minton Archive magic and boy, has it been working overtime since! We’ve not only found another gaselier design but also discovered all manner of other connections within the Archive and beyond, in some cases thanks to you, our readers. So, just one week later, it’s time for an update…

It turns out Calke Abbey isn’t the only place you can find a majolica garden seat adapted from a section of a gaselier design, however niche that might sound. Our colleagues at The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery got in touch to tell us that they too own one of the garden seats we featured in our original post, this particular example having originally been part of the Minton Museum and now sitting alongside other magnificent majolica pieces in a dedicated part of the Potteries Museum’s ceramics gallery.

With over 1000 images now uploaded to the site you’ll have to forgive us for momentarily forgetting about SD 1705/MS4492, a photograph of the Minton Museum in which the exhibition gaselier dominates – just as it did in the original stereo view. Our thanks go to Nicolaus Boston who reminded us about this particular record in the collection, highlighted to us the gaselier illustration in the Art Journal Illustrated Catalogue of the International Exhibition, 1862 and provided us with the gaselier’s shape number. This key piece of information allowed us to find a new image of it – complete with glass shades – in the Archive’s collection of Photograph Books alongside it’s garden seat partner on the previous page.

This information also made it possible to locate the gaselier’s entry in the Estimate Book for the 1862 Exhibition. Having done so it’s a good job we didn’t decide to trawl through the book looking for gaseliers as it’s described simply as a “Candelabra. Col[oure]d Majolica”… a slightly understated description for such a large – the shape photograph tells us it’s 8 feet 6 inch (2.6 metres) tall and 4 feet (1.2 metres) wide –  and highly decorative piece!

We expected another gaselier design found within the Art & Design folios to be the catalyst for another blog post on the subject but instead the connections have appeared from all over – even the artwork we’re signing off with this time, which was serendipitously discovered only a few days ago, was found within the Solon Library rather than from within the Archive. A little bit of Minton Archive magic goes a long way it would seem!