Skip to main content

Pot: C.18-2019

Object information

Current Location: In storage




Potter: Staite Murray, William




Grey/white stoneware, thrown, glaze coated and decorated in brown.

Thrown, urn-shaped, stoneware pot, the sides slightly flaring from the base to a flattened, rounded shoulder and short neck. Coated inside and out with flecked oatmeal glaze. Decorated on the sides, in brown, with rhythmic abstract marks between two horizontal bands above and two below. Underside turned to form a foot-rim, undecorated.


History note: Purchased from the Voicke / Mead family, through the Dr Shakeshaft Acquisitions Fund.

Legal notes

Purchased from the Voicke / Mead family

Measurements and weight

Diameter: 15 cm
Height: 16 cm

Place(s) associated

  • London ⪼ England

Acquisition and important dates

Method of acquisition: Bought (2019-11-25) by Mead, Jayne


20th Century
Production date: AD 1923


This and another similarly designed pot in the collection (C.17-2019) display some of Murray’s earliest forays into abstraction. This pot appears in a contemporary photograph of Murray’s stand at the Red Rose Guild Exhibition, Manchester, 1923 (see Haslam 1984).

William Staite Murray (1881-1962) was originally a painter who turned to ceramics as way of exploring three dimensional form after attending evening classes at Camberwell School of Arts & Crafts. In a 1930s interview he explained his view that: ‘pottery stands between painting & sculpture in the plastic arts, it inclines to either and includes both.’ He was part of a modernist craft movement that emerged during the 1920s, seeking simplified, directly expressive forms and valuing both design and craft skills. His associates included Ben and Winifred Nicholson; he collaborated for several years with the Vorticist painter Cuthbert Hamilton; and he took part in mixed exhibitions with both painters and sculptors. After WWI he set up his own studio at Rotherhithe and, from 1925, taught ceramics at the Royal College of Art, where his students included Sam Haile, Robert Washington, Heber Matthews and Henry Hammond. From 1939 Staite Murray settled in Zimbabwe (then Rhodesia) and ceased making pots altogether.

School or Style

Studio Ceramics

Components of the work

Exterior composed of glaze

Materials used in production


Techniques used in production

Throwing : Stoneware, thrown, glazed, painted in brown.

Inscription or legends present

  • Text: W. S. Murray / London / 1923
  • Location: Underside of base
  • Method of creation: Incised/handwritten
  • Type: Maker's mark

References and bibliographic entries

Related exhibitions

Identification numbers

Accession number: C.18-2019
Primary reference Number: 240165
Entry form number: 1390
Stable URI

Audit data

Created: Tuesday 28 January 2020 Updated: Wednesday 15 July 2020 Last processed: Friday 8 December 2023

Associated departments & institutions

Owner or interested party: The Fitzwilliam Museum
Associated department: Applied Arts

Citation for print

This record can be cited in the Harvard Bibliographic style using the text below:

The Fitzwilliam Museum (2024) "Pot" Web page available at: Accessed: 2024-02-22 11:24:02

Citation for Wikipedia

To cite this record on Wikipedia you can use this code snippet:

{{cite web|url= |title=Pot |author=The Fitzwilliam Museum|accessdate=2024-02-22 11:24:02|publisher=The University of Cambridge}}

API call for this record

To call these data via our API (remember this needs to be authenticated) you can use this code snippet:

More objects and works of art you might like

Honey pot

Accession Number: C.306 & A-1928


Accession Number: C.90-1984

Spouted pot

Accession Number: C.257 & A-1934

Cooking pot

Accession Number: GR.70.1933

Suggested products from Curating Cambridge

You might be interested in this...

Sign up for updates

Updates about future exhibitions and displays, family activities, virtual events & news. You'll be the first to know...