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The Vicar and Moses, Staffordshire, 1794, will be on display from May 14 at the Harris Museum, Preston.

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The gallery will display over 1000 objects covering the history of ceramics and glass from the fifth century BC to the contemporary.

The new space cost £400,000 to build and includes custom-designed display cases from glass engineers Meyvaert, who have worked with the Louvre and the British Museum.

Funding for the project, which has been in the works since April 2006, came from three bodies - Avencentral, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and Renaissance North-West, the MLA Council's £150m programme to transform England's regional museums.

Antiques expert Eric Knowles has worked with the museum to create the audio-visual guide to the collection.

To celebrate the opening, there will be a free tea party on Saturday, May 17 from 11am-3pm, which will include handling sessions and informal tours. Admission to the museum and the new galleries is free.