The Della Robbia Pottery, Birkenhead’s contribution to the Arts & Crafts Movement.
Find out more about Della Robbia Pottery in this free talk by Colin Simpson, Principal Museums Officer at the Williamson Art Gallery and Museum.
Harold Rathbone was the co- founder of the Della Robbia Pottery company. He studied in the same art academy in Paris at the same time as Alphonse Mucha and Della Robbia works are partly inspired by the art nouveau design.
Very much a product of its age, the Della Robbia Pottery followed William Morris’s principles in creating hand-crafted pottery of great variety, every piece unique. In its life of nearly 13 years (1894-1906) it trained a generation of artists and turned out many thousands of objects, large and small, that still adorn churches and houses throughout the country. The designs embraced Art Nouveau, Italian Renaissance, Celtic scrollwork and a host of natural inspirations. However, the age of the homespun soon went and despite artistic successes, commercial realities closed the pottery down leaving behind a fascinating legacy which is only now being fully appreciated.