A number of rare Staffordshire ceramics, that were aboard a sunken vessel are set to go on display at Gladstone Pottery Museum.
The mid-19th century emigrant ship the Josephine Willis was on its way to New Zealand but sank on 3 February 1856, following a collision with the steamer Mangerton, resulting in the death of 70 people including Captain Edward Canney.
The ceramics recovered from the seabed of the wreck, included the complete toilet bowl which has been gifted to the Museum, with its back stamp revealing it was made by Staffordshire sanitaryware firm Armitage.
The dinnerware recovered was also made by local firms Davenport, Longport and Charles Meigh & Son, Hanley.
A selection of ceramics recovered from the site was gifted to The Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in 2015. The wreck site has since been granted protection by the UK government meaning nothing more may be taken from the site, making this new display the only opportunity to see these shipwreck ceramics.
Cllr Lorraine Beardmore, cabinet member for culture, leisure, and public health said:
“We are extremely proud to be the custodians of this rare and historically fascinating collection of Staffordshire ceramics. The new display at Gladstone Pottery Museum will be completely unique and provides an insight into the types of Staffordshire ceramics exported all over the world; even the ones that ended up at the bottom of the sea.
“Items recovered from the Josephine Willis will be on display at Gladstone starting from the Wednesday of February half-term. The site will be open to the general public from Wednesday 22 then until Sunday 26 February for visitors to view the items.”