Portals To The Past: British Ceramics 1675-1825

Permanent Collection

Mint Museum Randolph


The Mint Museum’s collection of eighteenth-century British pottery and porcelain is widely respected for its scope and quality.

The Mint Museum’s collection of 18th-century British pottery and porcelain is widely respected for its scope and quality. The collection numbers over 2,000 objects and includes important examples of both salt-glazed and dry-bodied stoneware from Staffordshire; tin-glazed earthenware from Bristol, Liverpool, and London; and cream-colored earthenware from Derbyshire, Staffordshire, and Yorkshire. Notable 18th-century porcelain factories represented include Chelsea, Bow, and Vauxhall in London, Longton Hall in Staffordshire, Worcester, Bristol, and others. Individual works in the collection are exceptional because of their rarity, craftsmanship, provenance, or as representative examples of particular types or methods of production or decoration.

Portals to the Past: British Ceramics 1675–1825 presents more than 200 highlights of this collection in the Alexander, Spangler, and Harris Galleries at Mint Museum Randolph. The objects are interpreted through a variety of thematic lenses—function, style, manufacturing technique, maker—to encourage visitors to engage with the objects in ways they find personally meaningful and interesting. The exhibition includes many objects that have never been on view, as well as contemporaneous works of art in from the Mint’s holdings in other media, including paintings, furniture, fashion, and silver.

Portals to the Past features three interactive cases, in which visitors are encouraged to look at the objects in the respective case and ponder either “What is it?” or “What’s wrong with it?” As a precautionary measure against the spread of COVID-19, the museum has removed the retractable drawers from these cases that provided the answers to those questions. Visitors can now find the answers by using a personal device to scan the individual QR code accompanying each object.

The exhibition is accompanied by a 270-page, illustrated catalogue, British Ceramics 1675–1825: The Mint Museum, produced by the museum in collaboration with D. Giles Limited, London. Both the catalogue and the exhibition honor the fiftieth anniversary of the museum’s purchase of the Delhom Collection of British and European ceramics.

Portals to the Past: British Ceramics 1675–1825 is presented by the Delhom Service League, ceramics affiliate of The Mint Museum. Additional exhibition support generously provided by Moore & Van Allen. Exhibition organized by The Mint Museum.

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