Six degrees of Cypriot separation

I had a wonderful time last Monday working with photographer Simon Miles to record the Kent ancient Cypriot collection at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate, for the Cyprus Institute’s digital archive project. This gave me the opportunity to delve into the collection and see objects I had previously only read about in Benjamin Kent’s handwritten register; it was fascinating to see the ‘cone-like projection’ and ‘horn-like scrolls’ in real life!

As well as incorporating diverse, beautiful and intriguing objects, this collection is particularly rich in hints and clues to the objects’ itineraries – their journeys through time and space that have ended (for the time being) in the Gallery. It’s not uncommon to find a label or a note tucked inside an object with tantalising information about its previous movements. This was my experience last week.

White Painted jug

White Painted jug © Mercer Art Gallery

A White Painted jug from the Cypro-Geometric period has a label reading ‘Amathus’, and also a label pasted inside its rim: ‘Painted Vase Early Phoenician [indistinct] From [?Gen.] Cesnola Collection [?obtained from] from excavations in Cyprus. From Park Hill.’ Benjamin Kent’s register also notes for this jug, ‘Lawrence/Cesnola; Sir Theo Fry’s collection’.

Label

Label on the White Painted jug © Mercer Art Gallery

These labels and records provide a rich source of information for the jug’s collection history. The Lawrence/Cesnola reference is fairly easy; Alessandro Palma di Cesnola, Major di Cesnola, the younger brother of the more notorious Luigi, carried out extensive digging and collecting activity in Cyprus, with financial support from his father-in-law, E.H. Lawrence (hence ‘the Lawrence/Cesnola collection’).  Many of the objects thus obtained were sold at Sotheby’s in four sales from 1883 to 1892.

Sir Theodore Fry (1836-1912) is also easy to identify; a very interesting collector in his own right, who deserves further discussion on another occasion, he collected Greek, Etruscan, and Cypriot pottery. We know from helpfully annotated auction catalogues, and from the collating work done by the ‘Rethinking Pitt-Rivers‘ project, that Fry bought from the 1883 and 1884 auctions of Lawrence-Cesnola collection. His own collection was sold at auction in 1905, and many objects from it are now found in the Kent collection in Harrogate.

However, this leaves ‘Park Hill’ to be explained. A little research revealed this to be the residence of John Wickham Flower (1807-73), a lawyer, archaeologist, antiquarian and collector. His widow donated a huge collection of 1,500 pieces, including ancient Cypriot material, to Oxford’s University Museum in 1882 after his death, and this was later transferred to the Pitt Rivers Museum. Flower also bought from Cesnola sales, but those of the elder brother Luigi, General di Cesnola, on 1-2 May and 3 July 1871. These included objects from ‘Amathonta’, i.e. Amathus, where this jug is said to be from.

It therefore seems most likely, given the dates, that this jug was bought by Flower from one of Luigi Cesnola’s sales, then acquired by Fry – whether through a personal connection or at a sale – before making its way to the Kent collection. This would tie in with the label shown above, which claims the jug comes from ‘General Cesnola’s excavations’ – the younger brother would be described as ‘Major Cesnola’. Kent would then have been mistaken in attributing this jug to the Lawrence/Cesnola collection, the source of most of the other objects acquired from Fry – although given the multiple sales of Cesnola objects over a long period, and the interplay between the two brothers’ collections, some degree of crossed wires is almost inevitable.

A further degree of entanglement becomes evident when we consider the link between John Wickham Flower and Thomas Backhouse Sandwith, who had a huge impact on the dissemination of ancient Cypriot art in the Yorkshire area, as discussed at length on this blog and elsewhere. Sandwith wrote an important paper on his observations and deductions about ancient Cypriot material culture, which was published in Archaeologia, the journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London, in 1877. However, long before this, the paper was delivered at a meeting of the Society, on 4th May 1871. As the Society’s minute book notes,

‘In connection with this paper the following Exhibitions were laid before the Society:

Col. Lane Fox V.P. – Cypriote Antiquities from the Cesnola collection

J.W. Flower Esq. – Antiquities from the same collection.’

It seems likely that both of these Exhibitions were of the newly acquired antiquities from the Cesnola sale which had taken place just a couple of days earlier on 1-2 May 1871 (Lane Fox, who is of course Pitt-Rivers, also bought from this sale). There is a certain irony in the choice of Cesnola’s objects to accompany Sandwith’s paper, given the latter’s rather austere comments in his paper on Cesnola’s ‘untenable theory’ concerning the structure of ancient Cypriot tombs. Sandwith sent several batches of objects to Sheffield to be sold, and part of his collection was shown at the Yorkshire Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures in 1875, where it sparked considerable interest in collecting ancient Cypriot objects; including among the Kents, whose collection also includes some of Sandwith’s objects from the 1875 Exhibition.

So, the itinerary of this object gives us some sense of the flows of Cypriot antiquities in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and the networks along which they travelled. Excavated by one of the Cesnolas in Amathus in Cyprus, the jug was sold in London, probably to Flowers, and joined the rest of his collection, where it may have formed part of the exhibition accompanying Sandwith’s significant paper on 4th May 1871. It then came to Fry, whether by purchase or gift, and eventually, after his sale, it joined the Kent collection, alongside many other objects originating from the Cesnola and Sandwith collections. We see how interlinked these routes are, and how through different generations of collectors objects came together and were disbanded. It’s also interesting to reflect on all the journeys which are lost, because the information wasn’t recorded (even in cryptic ‘Park Hill’ format) or because sale catalogue descriptions are too broad to be reliably mapped onto individual objects. Although it’s not in keeping with modern curatorial practices, it makes me thankful that earlier generations of collectors felt at liberty to inscribe objects with their routes via people and places, and that at least some of this information has survived.

The art of the lithographer

Having spent a lot of time lately thinking about reading about writing, it made a pleasant change to get ‘hands on’ with Special Collections at the Leeds University Library and follow up some potentially relevant primary sources. The archives of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society are deposited in Special Collections, along with the Society’s library of printed books and pamphlets dating back to its foundation in the early 19th century. The library includes an offprint of T.B. Sandwith’s paper on ancient Cypriot pottery for the Society of Antiquaries, bound with several other archaeological papers. I’ll admit that I had hopes of an autograph dedication, or perhaps some helpful marginal notes by one of the LP&LS’s members – hopes which were not fulfilled. But it was nevertheless good to see the text in the original hard copy, in particular the amazing illustrations.

Amphora s

White Painted amphora, Archaeologia XLV Pl.XII

Stamnos s

Bichrome stamnos, Archaeologia XLV Pl.XII

It’s probably safe to assume that this copy of the Archaeologia paper was not thumbed over extensively by LP&LS members, since the pages are fresh and the illustrations clear and bright. The skill that has gone into representing the ancient Cypriot artefacts is remarkable, and puts the standard of illustration in some modern archaeological publications to shame.

WP jug s

White Painted jug, Archaeologia XLV Pl.X

BoR jug s

Black on Red jug, Archaeologia XLV Pl.IX

The drawings are particularly effective at capturing the geometric patterns on amphorae and jugs; you can tell that the artist has studied the objects closely and has taken great pains to convey their decoration accurately. Arguably these drawings are less successful at capturing objects whose shapes do not lend themselves to two-dimensional reproduction, but even so, it’s easy to recognise individual pieces from their portraits.

Triple juglet s

Triple juglet, Archaeologia XLV Pl.IX 

1964.0305a

Triple juglet (c) Leeds Museums and Galleries

From my limited understanding of the lithographic process, it appears that an artist would have made careful drawings of the objects, which would then have been engraved onto plates, and coloured as part of the printing process. This is where a potential Leeds link comes in. As previously noted, most of the drawings were made from objects included in the 1875 Yorkshire Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures in Leeds. The plates are labelled ‘del. C.H.R.’, an abbreviation for ‘delineauit’, i.e. ‘drawn by’ – so ‘C.H.R.’ made the drawings from which the engraver, named as C.F. Kell, worked. Kell appears to have been part of the firm of ‘Kell Bros.’, prolific ‘chromolithographers’ who did quite a bit of work for the Society of Antiquaries.

So, did the Society of Antiquaries take the trouble and expense to send a skilled draughtsman from London to Leeds to make drawings of the objects on display at the Yorkshire Exhibition? Or was it the work of a local professional? Efforts to discover the answer have not been successful as yet; it’s one of those intriguing footnotes to a research project that will probably remain unresolved.

Out and about

Over the past few weeks I’ve been lucky enough to attend two conferences on the subject of Cyprus – a brilliant way to start the academic year, not least because the train journeys offer an excellent opportunity to get some reading done!

It was good to visit the Fitzwilliam Museum again for ‘Re-approaching Cyprus’ on 23 October, and to listen to a very varied and interesting programme of cutting-edge research on ancient Cyprus. I particularly enjoyed Cyprian Broodbank’s introduction, discussing ‘how Cyprus exemplifies, defies, and weaves in and out of Mediterranean history’. His book The Making of the Middle Sea is next on my reading list. Giorgos Bourogiannis gave a fascinating insight into what happened next to the minor finds from the Swedish Cyprus Expedition at Ayia Irini, and I really enjoyed Daisy Knox’s theories on the uses and functions of the enigmatic Early Bronze Age Cypriot plank figurines. Thomas Kiely from the British Museum talked about a ‘re-excavation’ of the results of early excavations at Salamis, stating that ‘Museums are as fertile as many archaeological sites in terms of what you can discover in collections and archives’, a key idea in my approach to my own work.

I took the opportunity to visit the Fitzwilliam’s A.G. Leventis gallery of Cypriot antiquities, and particularly liked the fantastic bird-snake creatures on this Mycenaean krater.

Mycenaean krater with serpentine birds © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Mycenaean krater with serpentine birds
© Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

The collection includes a Bichrome krater previously belonging to the family of T.B. Sandwith.

Bichrome krater from the collection of T.B. Sandwith © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Bichrome krater from the collection of T.B. Sandwith
© Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

There was also a large Bichrome barrel jug from the collection of the Rev. Samuel Savage Lewis, Librarian at Corpus Christi College in the late 19th century. Lewis had an extensive antiquarian collection, recently discussed in a blog post by Kate Beats from the Department of Antiquities at the Fitzwilliam. We know from the Leeds City Museum’s archive that Lewis made enquiries of the Curator of the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society concerning the sale of Sandwith’s ancient Cypriot collection. It’s therefore possible that a few of Sandwith’s objects survive in the Lewis Collection, now at the Fitzwilliam; a potential link that I hope to follow up at some point.

Bichrome barrel jug from the collection of S.S. Lewis © Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Bichrome barrel jug from the collection of S.S. Lewis
© Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

This was followed a week later by a one-day conference on ‘Cyprus: Its Archaeology and Heritage’, organised by the Cyprus Centre at the London Metropolitan University. It attracted a wide range of speakers, providing the opportunity to hear about experimental archaeology, noteworthy Roman visitors to Cypriot sites, and modern artistic responses to Cyprus, among many other subjects. It was great to hear from Amy Smith about the brand new publication Cypriote Antiquities in Reading, including the Ure Museum collection, in the Corpus of Cypriote Antiquities series. Chrissy Partheni talked about the Cypriot collection at National Museums Liverpool, which has made me want to visit at the earliest opportunity. It’s never too early to start planning the next trip!

New light on an ancient lamp

Recently I’ve been working with Dr Sally Waite of Newcastle University on the Kent Collection at the Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate.This is a large and varied collection of archaeological artefacts from a wide range of locations and cultures, assembled by two generations of the Kent family and bequeathed to Harrogate Council in the 1960s. Most interestingly from my perspective, it includes over a hundred objects from ancient Cyprus. The Kents do not seem to have acquired directly from Cyprus themselves, but to have bought from sales via dealers. They kept a register of their collection, which includes some information about previous owners, making it possible in some cases to trace the history of an object.

Sally and I are currently looking at the objects in the Kent Collection which previously belonged to Thomas Sandwith, the British Vice-Consul on Cyprus from 1865 to 1870. There are six which are recorded as having come from his collection, but the information in the Kents’ register has enabled us to add to this number.The Kent Collection register describes a simple ancient Cypriot lamp as follows:

“Lamp, open type, shallow bowl with flat base, and flat rim pinched abruptly, slit narrow, dia of bowl 3⅜”. Cyprus, Cudworth Collection.”

Cypriot lamp from the Kent collection © Harrogate Museums and Arts, Harrogate Borough Council

Cypriot lamp from the Kent collection
© Harrogate Museums and Arts, Harrogate Borough Council

There are several examples of this type in the British Museum. While its date is difficult to determine without any archaeological context, it probably dates from the 6th to 4th centuries BC.

As discussed in my previous post, Mr Cudworth published a guide to his collection which includes useful information on provenance. Looking at this guide, the lamp that best fits the bill is described as:

“Open lamp, shell pattern, rare (Sandwith Cyprian Collection).”

Cudworth’s term ‘shell pattern’ refers to the theory that this kind of lamp was based on the shape of Terebratula shells, often known as ‘lamp shells’ for this reason (a term that came into use as early as 1787, according to Samuel Pickworth Woodward’s A Manual of the Mollusca). Cudworth states:

“If we have not in the fossilised Terebratula the original design of the early open lamp used for domestic purposes, the coincidence is, at any rate, somewhat remarkable.”

His guide illustrates this point with a woodcut, which bears a marked resemblance to the Kent Collection lamp.
Woodcut of open lamp from the Cudworth Collection.

Woodcut of open lamp from the Cudworth Collection.

Cudworth records the lamp as being from the Sandwith Collection. There were no lamps exhibited at the 1875 Yorkshire Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures, from which many Sandwith objects were acquired by Yorkshire collectors, and it may well have been bought from the saleroom in Sheffield where the pottery was displayed for sale from 1870. No unified catalogue exists of the Sandwith collection (this would be a great project to undertake at some stage), but we have some additional information from Sandwith’s 1877 article on ancient Cypriot pottery in Archaeologia, the journal of the Society of Antiquaries of London. This includes a brief description of lamps of this kind:

“It would be a mistake, however, to suppose that the better kind of pottery is found in all the tombs. The contrary is the case. Most of the graves contain but two or three common vases, either destitute of pattern or with the simplest designs… A common open lamp (see woodcut) of plain clay, on which no pattern or subject is ever represented, not unfrequently forms a part of the furniture of the deceased’s abode.”

Illustration of lamp from Sandwith's Archaeologia paper.

Illustration of lamp from Sandwith’s Archaeologia paper.

This is so similar to Cudworth’s illustration that I initially thought it was the same woodcut, but on closer examination there are a few small differences. It seems likely that Cudworth was familiar with the Archaeologia  piece, perhaps due to his interest in the Sandwith collection. As Sandwith discusses this kind of lamp in general terms, we can’t go as far as saying that the Kent lamp is the same one illustrated in the Archaeologia paper, but it’s certainly of the same type.

It’s interesting to see the different uses which have been made of this simple lamp by its previous collectors; Sandwith contrasts it with ‘the better kind of pottery’ as a common grave-good, while Cudworth is struck by its similarity to Terebratula shells, presenting this as a possible source of inspiration for its design. Today it is one of the less visually exciting objects surviving from the Kent collection (which includes some spectacular pieces), but it’s given additional interest by what we know of its relatively recent history.

Ancient Cyprus at Museums Sheffield

Last week I had a hugely enjoyable morning investigating the treasure trove that is the Museums Sheffield store. Lucy Creighton, Curatorial Assistant in Archaeology, kindly hosted my visit and let me look through the ancient Cypriot collection and associated records.

It’s a stunning collection, with the majority of objects collected by the Rev. J. DeBaere, R.C. Chaplain at Limassol on Cyprus; not a name I was previously familiar with. Nearly two hundred of his objects survive in the Sheffield store, including this beautiful White Painted oenochoe decorated with eyes and stylised birds.

White Painted oenochoe with birds © Museums Sheffield

White Painted oenochoe with birds
© Museums Sheffield

For me, the most exciting objects in the Sheffield collection are the 31 pieces previously belonging to T.B. Sandwith. These came to the museum in 1897, purchased from a Sheffield saleroom. Was this the shop from which John Holmes bought some of Sandwith’s collection in 1869?

The records helpfully list the purchase price for each object, giving some idea of the market value of Cypriot antiquities at the end of the 19th century. These range from one shilling for lamps and small circular dishes, to 13/6 for a 9″ tall vase. This helps to put the Leeds Philosophical and Literary Society’s purchase from the 1875 Yorkshire Exhibition into context. They spent a total of £14.0.0 on Sandwith’s antiquities, but we don’t have a list of what they bought; given the Sheffield acquisition was almost 30 years later, there is certainly the potential for it to have been quite an extensive purchase. A Bichrome spouted jug with basket handle, very similar to one in the Leeds collection known to have belonged to Sandwith, was sold for the sum of five shillings.

Bichrome spouted jug © Museums Sheffield

Bichrome spouted jug
© Museums Sheffield

Bichrome spouted jug © Leeds Museums and Galleries

Bichrome spouted jug
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

One of my favourite pieces is this lamp showing a very small Cupid or a very large hare, apparently a common pairing.

Lamp showing Cupid and hare © Museums Sheffield

Lamp showing Cupid and hare
© Museums Sheffield

I also love the tail on this ‘eye’ jug; similar in shape to the Hollings/Cesnola pieces, but whereas their tails are neat and discreet, this is much more extravagant, looping boldly over the bands of decoration and finishing on the shoulder with a tassel.

Bichrome jug with tail © Museums Sheffield

Bichrome jug with tail
© Museums Sheffield

Bichrome jug with tail © Museums Sheffield

Bichrome jug with tail
© Museums Sheffield

Sheffield is fortunate to have this wonderful collection of Cypriot antiquities. It was great to have a look through these fascinating objects, which are not currently on display, and to come into contact with some more of T.B. Sandwith’s collection. There is more ancient Cypriot art in Yorkshire than you might think!

Thomas Hollings’ collection of ancient ceramics

Quote

I’ve previously written about Thomas Hollings’ two Cypriot jugs which are attributed to Alexander Palma di Cesnola. Since then I’ve been doing some more digging in the records, and detective work on the Leeds Museum collection, and it’s become clear that Hollings owned more ancient ceramics than had previously been thought.

A total of 20 pieces of ancient pottery can now be attributed to Hollings. The location of two is unknown, but all the rest have been identified in the Leeds City Museum collection. They include simple Greek cups and bowls in glossy black slip, and Egyptian St Menas flasks, which can be seen on display in the Ancient Worlds gallery. From my perspective, the most interesting objects are those from ancient Cyprus. These include a globular jar with a small, sharply angled handle and a pierced lug on the opposite side, possibly for string. It’s made of coarse clay, with traces of incised decoration.

Globular jar

Globular jar
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

There’s also a Black-on-Red two-handled flask with flaring rim and characteristic ridged neck, perhaps representing a seam on metal prototypes. It has a small, shallow foot and is decorated with concentric circles. This vessel is in a Phoenician style, but probably manufactured on Cyprus. It dates from the Cypro-Geometric period (c.1050-750BC).

Black-on-Red flask © Leeds Museums and Galleries

Black-on-Red flask
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

My favourite piece is this Bichrome amphora from Amathus, of the Cypro-Archaic period (750-480 BC). It’s decorated in rings of black and reddish-brown paint, with a stylised lotus flower decoration on the neck. Prior to its arrival at the Museum, it had been subject to some rather unconventional restoration – a metal candlestick holder had been used to support the internal structure when the base was repaired. This has now been removed!

Bichrome amphora © Leeds Museums and Galleries

Bichrome amphora
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

There’s also a White Painted jug, probably dating from the later end of the Middle Cypriot period (c. 1800-1650 BC). It has a high neck and cutaway spout, and a rounded base. It’s decorated with straight and wavy lines and cross-hatched panels, extending round the base of the jug, on a background of buff slip.

White Painted jug © Leeds Museums and Galleries

White Painted jug
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

Born in 1860, Thomas Edward Hollings is best known for his extensive and important collection of English pottery, which came to the Leeds City Art Gallery by gift and bequest in 1946 and 1947. His business was woollen manufacturing, managing the firm established by his father, Isaac Hollings.

Isaac Hollings and Son

Isaac Hollings and Son

This occupation evidently allowed him sufficient leisure and resources to devote to his collection, some of which can still be seen at Temple Newsam. His primary interest was Leeds pottery, supplemented by Staffordshire ware. He bought extensively at sales in Yorkshire, Staffordshire and London, and may well have acquired his ancient pieces at auction. Alternatively, it could have been a collection previously assembled by someone else; a letter of 1946 offers to the Art Gallery ‘many specimens of old Roman Glass which formerly belonged to Samuel Margerison’, which presumably Hollings had bought as a set. As I’ve previously mentioned, Hollings kept detailed records of purchase dates and prices for his huge collection of English ceramics. It would be highly out of character for him not to have kept any notes on these ancient ceramics, and such notes are high on my ‘wish list’ of documents to come across; though no luck as yet!

One interesting side-issue is that in the accession register, all Hollings’ ancient ceramics are marked ‘from the Sandwith collection’. T.B. Sandwith is not known to have assembled such a far-reaching collection, and it seems highly unlikely that this disparate group of ceramics originated with him. That said, it is certainly the case that objects from his Cypriot collection which were displayed and sold at the Yorkshire Exhibition of 1875 went into circulation around Yorkshire, and some of these could well have been bought at second- or third-hand by Mr Hollings.

The Cypriot ceramics make a valuable contribution to the Leeds Museum collection, and it’s particularly interesting to have objects linked to the notorious Cesnola brothers. We are lucky that Mr Hollings chose to collect them, and to pass them on. A newspaper cutting kept among his papers, annotated ‘1928’, states that

‘Dr. J.W.L. Glaisher… [left] his collection of china and pottery to the Fitzwilliam Museum together with £10,000 to be applied for any building which may be necessary for the housing and exhibition of the collection.’

Could it have been Dr Glaisher’s generosity that inspired Mr Hollings to gift his own collection to the Leeds Art Gallery?

Changing hands

I have previously written about the Cypriot jug owned by Mr Joseph Hall of Kirkstall, and given to the Museum in 1957 by his daughter, Mrs Ethel Stott (as far as I know, no relation to Miss F.L. Stott).

Trefoil-mouthed oenochoe © Leeds Museums and Galleries

Trefoil-mouthed oenochoe
© Leeds Museums and Galleries

This jug came with a copy of a letter from its previous owner, whom I have now identified as Mr William Henry Verity (1841-1911). His father, Matthew Verity, was a cloth manufacturer, and William followed him into the business. When Matthew Verity died in 1877, he left his sons shares in the Victoria Mill – a ‘scribbling’ (carding) mill in Bramley – and stalls in the Coloured Cloth Hall in Leeds.

The Coloured Cloth Hall, Leeds. From 'The History of Leeds' by William Boyne, 1877.  © www.leodis.net

The Coloured Cloth Hall, Leeds. From ‘The History of Leeds’ by William Boyne, 1877.
© http://www.leodis.net

William Verity served on the Committee of the Fine Art Department of the great Yorkshire Exhibition of Arts and Manufactures in 1875. He presumably bought the jug, which we know was excavated by T.B. Sandwith, from this exhibition.

For a time the Veritys lived at Burley Wood Mount, Kirkstall, which William’s daughter Kate describes as:

‘a beautiful wooded Park, had five nice, substantial houses built quite separately from each other, in fact quite a lot of wooded ground between each. All the occupants of the five houses were friends: in fact it was a sort of settlement in itself, especially as there was a lodge-keeper; no body was allowed in but the residents and their visitors. It was on the direct road from Leeds to the historic Kirkstall Abbey (destroyed by Cromwell) where we always went at least once a week in good weather to spend some time, the younger ones climbing such ruins as were not too dangerous‘. © West Yorkshire Archive Service, family history research conducted by George Verity.

Joseph Hall and his family lived at Burley Wood Crescent, just round the corner from Burley Wood Mount. This perhaps explains how he came to purchase the jug. It was sold in 1881, just before the Veritys left Burley Wood, as part of the ‘valuable contents of the villa residence’ mentioned in their sale advertisement.

Sale advertisement © The Leeds Mercury, Saturday 19th March 1881

Sale advertisement
© The Leeds Mercury, Saturday 19th March 1881

It’s not clear why William Verity sold up and moved, first to Whitby, then to New Wortley, then emigrating to Canada, leaving his wife and daughter in Oldham to follow him later. In Canada he worked at the Dominion Cotton Mills in Chambly Canton, later moving to Montreal and then to Windsor in New Jersey.  His brother, John Kirk Verity, gave up his cloth manufacturing business because his machinery was too antiquated to be competitive; perhaps William Verity similarly had difficulty in making a living from the woolen trade. In his turn, Joseph Hall’s growing success allowed him the financial freedom to purchase the jug from Verity’s sale.

The movements of this Cypriot jug illustrate two Yorkshire businessmen taking advantage of the opportunity afforded them by prosperity in business to gain access to the world of antiquity collecting. Perhaps Cypriot pottery, characterised in the Guide to the Yorkshire Exhibition as ‘primitive’ and ‘rude’, was a relatively inexpensive way in. They seem to have appreciated the jug for its history, as well as its aesthetic qualities. William Verity valued the information provided by Charles Newton of the British Museum enough to write to Joseph Hall and pass it on, commenting

“The pottery is most interesting in an antiquarian sense, being as it was a link between the Prehistoric and an early Greek art.”

This interest seems typical of the Victorian businessman’s search for self-improvement. However, his antiquity collecting did not outlive his financial prosperity; when he gave up his luxurious house in Leeds, together with its contents of fine furniture and works of art, he gave up the ancient Cypriot jug too.

Mrs Stott’s decision to donate the jug to the Leeds City Museum is perhaps indicative of changing attitudes towards collecting antiquities in the 20th century. Many would agree with her that the right place for antiquities is not in private hands, out of sight, but in a publicly accessible museum. It is thanks to her generosity that the jug is available for study today.