One of the most important--and beautiful--industrial archives in the world, the Wedgwood Collection, could be sold off unless the UK's Art Fund can raise £2.7 million in three months' time, according to the Independent.
Valued at £15.7m, the collection of ceramics, paintings, and manuscripts from the famed manufacturer (founded 1759) in Staffordshire, UK, will go to auction at Christie's if the fundraising is not successful. The Art Fund, the Heritage Lottery and charitable trusts have already raised the majority of funds needed and it is up to the public to fulfill the final amount by Nov. 30. The effort is the largest ever to keep British treasures in the U.K.
UNESCO has called the Wedgwood Collection “unparalleled in its diversity and breadth.” The public appeal for funds stems from debt accrued by Waterford Wedgwood that was transferred to the Wedgwood Museum. A High Court judge ruled that the museum was responsible for the company's debt and would have to sell its collection to pay it off.
Stoke's MP Tristram Hunt said of the Wedgwood Collection: “We need to do all we can to make sure it remains as a source of pride and heritage, as a source of inspiration and a collection that tells the remarkable story of north Staffordshire’s contribution to global history.”