Landmark project sees new home in Barnsley for rare De Morgan vase

Cannon Hall museum, park and gardens will soon be home to a rare William De Morgan vase, which will add to the already outstanding collection found in the upper rooms of the stunning Georgian Country House.

A pioneering project funded by the Museums Association will see new homes being found for up to 2,300 pieces of art and other objects from the De Morgan collection all of historical and archaeological interest.

The vase is the first item to be re-homed under the new project, which has been transferred by Derby County Council to the De Morgan Foundation, an independent charity which owns, cares for and exhibits the De Morgan Collection.

The three-handled vase, made in the 1880s, will be displayed in the Hall, the ancestral home of William’s wife Evelyn De Morgan.

William De Morgan is considered to be the most inventive and innovative designers of the arts and crafts movement.

The 18-month project is being seen as a test case by the Museums Association (MA), and if successful it could be held up as a model of best practice in adhering to its code of ethics around dispersal of objects.

Sarah Hardy, Curator-Manager of the De Morgan Foundation said:

We are very grateful to receive this vase and to be able to display it at Cannon Hall in the De Morgan Gallery. The De Morgan three-handled vase is not one I have seen before, it is a very rare example of his interest in decorating unusual and ambitious surfaces. Moreover, it is stamped with his pottery stamp ‘Merton Abbey’, so we can date it to 1882 - 1888, a time when De Morgan has enough staff to throw pots to his specification, meaning the three handles were his idea.

Museums Association Collections Development Officer Sarah Briggs said:

We’re really excited to see such positive results from this Esmée Fairbairn Collections Fund project so early on, the team have really hit the ground running. This transfer demonstrates the value of undertaking this sort of collections work and this beautiful piece will almost certainly be seen by more people as a result.