Fundraising Success

Campaign to help Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust Secure important china collection is a success


Shropshire’s Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust launched a campaign in early August appealing for donations to help them buy five significant pieces of Coalport and Caughley china, currently on loan to Coalport China Museum but now being sold by the owner. The Trust is delighted that the full amount of funding needed to purchase all five pieces has been raised.

With the help of the local community, the Caughley Society, and the Friends of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum these important pieces of our history will remain on public display in the region they were produced. The items saved, currently on display in a special case at the Coalport China Museum, include:

  • Two beautiful Caughley bowls decorated with images of the Iron Bridge. One of the bowls, a square salad bowl, is an extremely rare item. From around 1775 to 1799, The Caughley China factory, located in Broseley, produced some of the finest soft-paste porcelain made in England in the 18th century.
  • A Coalport China ‘Loving Cup’ decorated with images of the Forest Glen and Buildwas Abbey.
  • Two Coalport plaques exquisitely painted by John Randall, one of Coalport’s most acclaimed artists.  The Coalport China Company was one of the finest producers of porcelain in Britain during the 19th century.

With the campaign for the smaller pieces of china complete, the Museum is now focusing its efforts on raising funds to buy the opulent Northumberland Vase at auction in November. Also made by the Coalport China Company, this large porcelain vase is adorned with elaborate handles, gilt scrolling, and beautiful panels painted by two of the best artists, not only at Coalport, but at any china works in Britain. It was created as an exhibition piece to advertise the superior quality of the company’s ornamental china and was showcased at the 1862 International Exhibition in London, where it won a bronze medal. The vase was subsequently purchased by the Duke of Northumberland and housed at Alnwick Castle. The Museum hopes to raise £50,000 in the hopes of securing the vase at auction. All donations for the Northumberland Vase will take the form of pledges and will only be called in if the auction bid is successful.

Pledges for the Northumberland Vase are now being taken - visit http://www.ironbridge.org.uk/support-us/urgent-appeal-pilkington-collection/northumberland-vase/ to contribute today.

For more information about the Museums’ fundraising work, contact the Fundraising Team at 01952 435 900 or fundraising.manager@ironbridge.org.uk

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