The Minton Archive consists of thousands of watercolours and drawings

Future of Minton Archive hinges on Wedgwood

Patrick Steel, Issue 112/03, p4, 01.03.2012
Attorney general's decision is key to fate of both collections
The future of the Minton Archive may depend on the attorney general’s decision on the Wedgwood collection.

The archive, which consists of thousands of original watercolours and drawings by artists associated with the Minton pottery company, has been in storage at Bonhams for the past three years after the auction house was commissioned to advise on its future.

A spokesman for the Art Fund said it had been in talks about bringing the Minton Archive together with the Wedgwood collection before Waterford Wedgwood went into administration, but the Wedgwood Museum’s legal difficulties had meant that this had not progressed.

Museums Journal understands that the archive’s owner is awaiting the attorney general’s judgment on the sale of the Wedgwood collection before making a decision, but it would like the archive to be preserved intact and displayed in a British institution.

A spokesman for Bonhams confirmed that it was waiting instructions from the owner. The fate of the archive and the Wedgwood collection were debated last month in the House of Lords.

Conservative frontbencher Patricia Rawlings said the Department for Culture, Media and Sport was working with the Pension Protection Fund on a valuation of the Wedgwood collection, and that if a fundraising campaign was necessary, the collection would be saved sooner rather than later.

A spokesman for the attorney general’s office said it was awaiting a transcript of the original judgment and that it would be “weeks at least” before the judgment was issued.