Decorative Arts Gallery
Permanent collection at VGM, University of Liverpool
Opening to the public for the first time in February 2009, this gallery provides a stunning setting for our collection of ceramics, presented to the University in 1948 by Sir Charles Sydney Jones.
The Decorative Art Gallery displays some of the Sir Charles Sydney Jones collection of 18th and early 19th century British ceramics and Chinese export ceramics, enhanced with silver and drinking ware. Themes explored in the gallery include the Chinese export trade of dinner services decorated with British family coats of arms; the influence of Chinese ceramics on early English porcelain; the taking of tea in 18th century Britain; and the spectacle of the dessert table in the 18th century.
Highlights include a set of five Bow vases c.1756; a covered gilded Derby vase with biscuit caryatid handles c.1770; three Derby biscuit figure groups c.1790; a rare Bristol figure of a man holding a bird c.1775; hand-painted Worcester ware with butterfly and bird designs; and a Rococo tortoiseshell tea caddy.
Sir Charles Sydney Jones was passionate about education and the arts. He was an avid art collector who bequeathed his collection of illuminated manuscripts, watercolours and ceramics to the University of Liverpool in 1947. His collections were not inherited family heirlooms but were collected by him during his lifetime, a task that he greatly enjoyed. Although Sydney Jones was aiming to document the development of early English porcelain in his collecting, his collection reveals much about his own personal fascination for culture.