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especially that of Nantgarw, for its manufacture was of short duration. It began at Nantgarw in 1811, but it is probable that very little of its product found its way into the market for some years. From the start the proprietors were handicapped for want of capital, and this led to the closing of the factory in 1814, when they removed to the Cambrian Pottery at Swansea, where, under Mr. Lewis Weston Dillwyn, they introduced the manufacture on a larger scale, and under better conditions. The Nantgarw factory was resuscitated in 1817 by the help of generous local patrons; but at both the manufacture soon ceased-at Nantgarw about 1821, and at Swansea a year or two later. Thus the period of Welsh porcelain was but ten years, and only during the last six was the output of commercial importance.

It was a period of art decadence, and the decoration followed the fashion of the time. Flowers, garden and wild-a large central group, a group with detached flowers, symmetrically or irregularly arranged, or small dispersed bouquets, and all close copies of nature-are especially characteristic, and are rarely subordinated to a decorative scheme. The typical Nantgarw or Swansea plate presents a picture of flowers, often exquisitely painted, framed with a simple or enriched gilt border.

Instead of flowers there may be a land- . scape or a group of figures ; but decoration in the strict sense of the term is not often essayed, and although the designs are sometimes graceful and satisfying; they cannot be said to quite attain the tasteful appropriateness of those of the older porcelains, as those of Worcester, Derby and Chelsea, in their best days.

Yet Welsh porcelain, especially that of Nantgarw, played an important part in the history of British ceramics. The Nantgarw body is singularly translucent, and its whiteness is mellowed by a faint warm tinge. It is so soft and glassy that few pieces have passed through the ordeal of firing without distortion and other blemishes; but at its best it is unrivalled.

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Swansea porcelain, on the other hand, varies exceedingly. Much of it l'esembles 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. 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. It



It contains many

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 Ponty. pool 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


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