A beautiful piece of Potteries history has returned home – about 150 years after it was made in Hanley.
The porcelain vase – made by John Bevington from the Bevington family of potters – is now living at The Potteries Museum and Art Gallery.
It was likely to have been made at the town’s Kensington Works between 1870 and 1880.
The unique vase is now part of the museum’s reserved collection. It will not be on public display, but could be used in the future for temporary exhibits or it may be lent to other institutions.
The vase belonged to local historian and Sentinel press photographer Ernest Warrillow who passed it on to his daughter, Christine.
Ernest, who died in 2000 just days before his 91st birthday, gave his name to The Warrillow Collection at Keele University.
The collection includes more than 1,800 photographs of the Potteries, from the 1870s to the 1970s, most of which were taken by Ernest himself. He also wrote A Sociological History of the City of Stoke-on-Trent.
His daughter, Christine, originally from Newcastle-Under-Lyme, travelled over 200 miles from Torquay – where she now lives – to Hanley to hand deliver the vase to the Museum.
She said: “I just wanted the vase to come back to Stoke-on-Trent. It was made here in Hanley so it’s a local piece and I thought it was important for it to have come home after all these years.
“My father, Ernest Warrillow was a local historian and worked for The Sentinel as a press photographer. He also has a portrait here in the museum. He was always buying antiques, he had done since he was a young man, and he bought this piece and then passed it on to me.
“It’s so delicate so it’s not the best thing to have at home with grandchildren running around – it was very much put on a pedestal. I know it will have a good home in Stoke-on-Trent.
“It’s a beautiful and unique piece and I think it will make a nice addition. I wanted to bring it home for my father and for the museum.”
The bright and colourful Staffordshire pottery piece stands at 24 inches high and 16.5 inches wide. It is full of intricate detailing, including razor thin, delicate flower petals and a golden handle on each side.
Ben Miller, the museum’s assistant curator of ceramics, said: “We like to collect items made here in the city by the people of Stoke-on-Trent. This vase was made only a stones throw from the museum so it really does tick all of the boxes for us.
“The vase is locally and impressively made. I imagine it was a piece the potter was very proud of. It is a piece of highly decorated porcelain and a perfect example of craftsmanship with the delicate handmade flowers. It really is a tour de force of Victorian ceramics.
“The vase was also owned by someone prominent, so there’s a bit of history that goes along with the piece, too.”