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Ceramic Empire: The Trade in Staffordshire Pottery

1580The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery
24 May – 7 September

The Victorian period was the height of the British Empire with trading links throughout the world. The Staffordshire pottery industry exported many of their wares to these countries putting the name of Stoke-on-Trent on the international map.

Marking the publication of Tristram Hunt MP’s new book on the cities of Empire, this exhibition explores the supply and representation of Empire in Staffordshire pottery. It includes the exotic and unusual as well as international exhibitions and political pots.

In the 17th and 18th centuries millions of pieces of Chinese porcelain were imported into Europe by the British East India Company. Visitors will be able to see the Chinese porcelain bowl salvaged from the shipwreck of the ‘Geldermalsen’, also known as the Nanking Cargo, which sank in the South China Sea in 1752.

The exhibition will also feature examples of how local pottery was designed in relation to latest events and discoveries. In 1836 a French trader captured four giraffes in the Sudan and brought them to London for the Zoo. This event inspired prints which pottery manufacturers used to create transfer-printed patterns.

The exhibition runs from Saturday 24 May until Sunday 7 September. A free public lecture presented by Tristram Hunt will take place in the museum theatre on Friday 23 May at 2pm.

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