Wednesday, August 31, 2011

A Magnificent Ceramics Catalog-

“Catalogue of the Glaisher Collection of Pottery & Porcelain in the Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge”

By Bernard Rackham.
Published in Cambridge, at the University Press, in 1935.

A magnificent catalog of one of the most important collection of early English pottery. James Whitbread Lee Glaisher [1809-1928] was best known in his lifetime as a leading mathematician and astronomer, a graduate of Trinity College, Cambridge, and a lifelong lecturer and professor there-

F.R.S., 1875. President of the London Mathematical Society, 1884-6; De Morgan Medal, 1908. President, Royal Astronomical Society, 1886-8 and 1901-3. President of Mathematical Section, 1890. Editor of The Messenger of Mathematics, 1871-1928, and of the Quarterly Journal of Mathematics. Hon. D.Sc. Dublin, 1892, and Victoria, 1902. A great authority on faience and pottery; his collections, considered to be the finest in the world, were bequeathed to the Fitzwilliam Museum” (Alumni Cantabrigienses, Cambridge University Press).

Glaisher began to collect ceramics in middle age, and concentrated on the early English pottery and folk ceramics scorned by others. Although his collection, widely appreciated as one of the most important in Britain, eventually also included English porcelains and some foreign examples, it was his contribution to the understanding and appreciation of English pottery for which he is best remembered.

This set bears the bookplate of William Newsam McClean, with a presentation letter, handwritten and signed by Sydney Cockerell. McClean (1874-1968), a member of the Royal Engineers, donated the cost of building a special room at the Fitzwilliam Museum to house his brother’s collection of ancient Greek coins which had been presented to the Museum. Sydney Cockerell served as the Director of the Fitzwilliam Museum from 1908 to 1937. Prior to that he had been William Morris’s private secretary.

A grand catalog of a grand collection, with interesting associations.

Hardcover. 2 volumes. 10.5”x13.5”. Volume 1: xx + 431 pages, plus 36 colored plates. Volume 2: xv pages plus 266 black & white plates. Minor wear, a few scuffs and soil marks on the covers (please see the photos), some wear along the bottom of the covers, but overall clean and nice, with tight bindings.


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