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The Minton Museum Collection is owned by Royal Doulton who acquired Minton in 1968. It comprises a cross-section of wares produced by the factory over the two centuries since it was founded in 1793: a mixture of trial pieces, prototypes plus examples of exhibition pieces and other samples of the best work produced by the factory which it decided to keep for reference. This reference collection was formerly housed in the Minton Museum at the company’s former head office, Minton House in Stoke-on-Trent, but the museum has been closed to the public for the past five years and Minton House itself, which the company left last October, is now being sold.

Royal Doulton have held a series of dispersals from their holdings in recent years. In 1999 they offered a small selection of pieces from the Minton Museum, along with Royal Crown Derby porcelain, at Sotheby’s while two sales of Doulton wares from the Royal Doulton reserve collection, mostly duplicate pieces, were held by Phillips in 1999 and 2001.

A selection of pieces from the Minton collection were put on display in an exhibition at Bonhams’ (then Phillips’) New Bond Street rooms last summer and that gave a taste of what one can expect to see coming up for sale this year.

The widest selection will come from Minton’s 19th century products. These will include important examples of techniques in which the firm excelled such as pâte sur pâte wares by Louis Solon and their majolica ware headlined by a model of a peacock that is expected to fetch around £100,000 as well as pieces designed by leading 19th century innovators such as AWN Pugin and Christopher Dresser. But there will also be later wares from the firm dating right up to the second half of the 20th century such as a 1953 Coronation mug. Royal Doulton are keeping all the Minton factory’s artwork and archival material and may retain a small representational sample of the Minton ceramics.