Goss China goes on show in Petworth

A new collection of more than 40 pieces of coveted Goss China is one of the highlights as Petworth Cottage Museum opens for a new season.

Based at 346 High Street and in its 17th year, the museum opened to the public on Tuesday, April 3.

Goss China was produced by the Falcon Pottery from the 1880s to the late 1930s.

Owner William Henry Goss, was a keen collector of antiques – which in the 19th century meant Greek and Roman vases.

When his son Adolphus joined the firm in the early 1880s, he suggested the firm take advantage of the seaside souvenir collecting craze and produce miniature copies of Greek and Roman vases decorated with the coat of arms of coastal towns to be sold as souvenirs.

“The idea proved popular and by the turn of the century, most cities and towns had their own Goss products,” said Gordon Stevenson, chairman of the museum trust.

“It is believed that by 1910, 95 per cent of British homes had some crested china. Besides Greek and roman vases, Goss china came in hundreds of designs, from animals to novelty items, such as cannons and a man in the stocks.

“The Petworth crest is the one adopted when the Petworth Parish Council was formed and shows Gog and Magog,” he said.

The museum opens Tuesday-Saturday and all bank holidays, 2pm-4.30pm.

See www.petworthcottagemuseum.co.uk for details.