European Ceramics at Burghley

A remarkable feature of the collections housed at Burghley is their scope and overall quality. The Cecil family has been collecting for over four hundred years—the variety of fine art that can be seen by visitors is astonishing. However, some collections are normally spread throughout the house, both in those rooms open to visitors and those lived in by the House Director, Miranda Rock and her family. The recent addition of this Treasury Gallery, within the renovated Brewhouse, provides a stunning venue for these pieces to be shown in a series of annual exhibitions.

Of the English ceramics, a ‘signature’ piece is the London delftware dish, dated 1745 and painted with a view of Burghley House. This is an extremely rare specimen, of which there is only one other recorded example. Other highlights include remarkable examples of majolica. This bright, colourful Italian ceramic takes its name from the island of Majorca, which was a major trading centre for these wares. Both the 5th Earl of Exeter in the 17th century and the 9th Earl in the 18th century are known to have purchased examples produced in the factories at Castelli and Urbino.

Burghley is noted for its world-famous collections of Oriental porcelain—this exhibition gives us the opportunity to display the superb examples of European ceramics that are also part of the Burghley Collection.