Poole Museum has managed to purchase a major piece of Poole Pottery history, a jardinière and stand made by Carter & Co in its pottery on Poole Quay in about 1902. At nearly five feet in height it is also the largest piece of Poole Pottery to enter the Museum collection, which is the world’s best on public display.
The jardinière and stand were designed by Archibald Knox (1864-1933) for the Liberty & Co. Knox produced hundreds of designs for objects, particularly silver and pewter wares, to be retailed by the prominent London store. These designs and his distinctive style inspired by Celtic art made him a household name. This is an outstanding example of a series of Liberty & Co garden wares designed by Knox and made in terracotta by Carter & Co in Poole in the early 1900s. Until now Poole Museum has not owned any of these garden wares.
BCP Council Museum and Arts Manager, Michael Spender, bought the jardinière and stand for the museum at an auction at Sotheby’s against strong competition from collectors. The purchase was funded by donations from visitors to the Museum and by a grant from the Arts Council England/V&A Purchase Grant Fund. The new acquisition has gone on display in Poole Museum’s third floor ceramics gallery.
Graham Farrant, Chief Executive BCP Council said: “It is great that we have been able to plug a gap in Poole Museum’s superb Poole Pottery collection by acquiring what is probably the best piece available in the market. With its three important associations of Archibald Knox, Liberty and Carter, this is a new star object in the museum, which I hope residents and visitors will enjoy coming to see.”