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Swansea porcelain, on the other hand, varies exceedingly. Much of it resembles Nantgarw, some has distinctive peculiarities of its own, and not a little is decidedly of inferior quality. The history of the two factories is intimately associated with the remarkable, but chequered, career of William Billingsley, of Derby, to whom Wales owes its short episode of porcelainmaking. One of the gems of the collection is a little plaque, painted with roses for a favourite apprentice some years before he came to Nantgarw. Another name intimately associated with the Welsh factories is that of Thomas Pardoe, another Derby man, who early in life migrated to Swansea, then to Bristol, and finally to Nantgarw where he ended his days, and of whose flower-paintings there are many examples in the collection. The Cardiff collection is largely due to Mr. Robert Drane, F.L.S., who for more than forty years has taken an active interest in the Museum.


The English pottery is a recent feature of the Museum, and is the outcome of the Curator's recommendation, in 1903, that a small representative collection to illustrate the art of the English potter, should be formed, to be followed by a similar collection of porcelain. It has grown so rapidly that the cases are overcrowded, and many examples cannot be exhibited for want of space. It may be considered as fairly representative, but here and there is still a missing link' to be made good. It contains many fine pieces, among which a Toft dish and a series of dated delft ware are specially worthy of notice.

The most conspicuous of the casts of the Welsh pre-Norman monuments in this room are those of the large and well-known crosses of Carew, Nevern, Margam, Coychurch, Llandough (Cardiff), and the Maen Achwynfan, in Flintshire. The Committee decided to form a complete collection of casts of these Welsh monuments in 1894, and up to the present 120 have been made. Most of the work has been carried out by Mr. William Clarke, of Llandaff.


has been a costly undertaking, but the Committee has been materially helped by generous donors—the cost of the complete set for Breconshire was defrayed by Miss Thomas, of Llwynmadoc-and by grants from the Board of Education. Many of the casts are stored at the Law Courts, but these, as a rule, are inscribed only, most of the decorated examples being in the Museum. It is hoped that by the time the National Museum is opened the collection will include all the known Welsh examples. It may be added that nearly two dozen casts of important Roman inscriptions and sculptured stones relating to the Principality and Monmouthshire have been made.

Elsewhere in the room will be noticed several cases of bygones,' and on the walls many portraits of Welsh celebrities.

Returning to the Staircase, on the first flight upwards will be noticed the Cross of Gai, formerly at Bryn Keffneithan, near Neath (Westwood, Lapid. Walliæ, p. 27). On the landing above is a collection of Pontypool and Usk japan wares. The former attained such celebrity in the eighteenth century that 'Pontypool' has become almost a generic term for old English japans; yet little was known of the history of these Monmouthshire factories, and perhaps less of their products, until recent years. Mr. T. H. Thomas and Mr. Kyrle Fletcher, of Newport, have been patient gleaners in this field, and a paper by the former in the Cardiff Naturalists' Transactions for 1905 practically summarises all that is known on the historical side. Mr. Thomas traces back the art of japanning at Pontypool to the latter half of the seventeenth century, under Thomas Allgood, but it was under his descendants in the following century that it attained commercial reputation. A grandson established the manufacture at Usk in 1761, and it ceased at the former place in 1822, and at the latter in 1860, due probably to the successful rivalry of Wolverhampton and Birmingham. The Museum collection has the peculiar

interest that fifty-three of its examples came from two descendants of the last proprietor at Usk-Miss Olive Parkhurst and Miss R. J. Lewis, in whose families they had been handed down as productions of the two factories. It is probable that a few of these were made elsewhere, obtained perhaps to serve as models; but there is no question that the tradition is true of the majority, most of which have an early nineteenth century facies and may reasonably be assigned to Usk, while the remainder are of earlier character. The former seem to be representative of the later goods, and are only noteworthy for their good workmanship and neat and careful decoration. There are in the Museum many earlier pieces which can, with greater or less certainty, be attributed to the Monmouthshire factories, and these are distinguished by their harder lacquers, more tasteful and vigorous decorations (often on a a tortoiseshell' ground) and the prevalence of pierced ornamentation.

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From the top landing, the Natural History Room is entered, the chief feature of which is the collection of birds of Wales. The present collection was begun about sixteen years ago, only a few of the rarer specimens of the old being retained for it. Each species occupies a separate case, and although the collection is so far complete that only very few species remain to be represented, comparatively few of the cases have as yet their full equipment. The general aim is to exhibit the adult male and female, the young in their first plumage, and the nest and eggs; the deficiencies, however, are constantly being reduced as suitable specimens come to hand. Each group is in a setting which represents its natural haunt, as far as the limitations of the case admits. In many instances, the nest is shown in a portion of the actual tree in which it was found, with the foliage reproduced in wax. The collection contains many rarities-as the rusty grackle, the only specimen known to have been taken in the British Isles; Pallas's great grey shrike, the first example

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