Presentation ship bowl
A photograph taken before the Blitz shows a display case full of rare ceramics gifted to the museum by one of its founding collectors, the goldsmith Joseph Mayer (see image above). Many of the ceramics featured in the case were presentation bowls made as gifts for various ships’ captains. These bowls featured a portrait of the ship and a slogan wishing the ship and all who sailed on her good luck. While most of the ceramics seen in this photograph went missing on 3 May 1941, presumed destroyed (see Casualties section) three pieces were removed from the case and evacuated to safety. We have no idea why the three were chosen or why the others were left behind. One of the survivors was this presentation bowl made for the captain of a ship called Fanny (probably named after the wife, sweetheart or daughter of the ship’s owner).