Wedgwood First Day’s vase
A temporary export bar was placed on this black 'basaltes' encaustic-decorated Wedgwood 'First Day’s' vase. Stoke-on-Trent’s Potteries Museum & Art Gallery is hopeful of raising the nearly half a million pounds needed to buy it.

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The museum launched an appeal to raise the funds last year after Culture Minister Matt Hancock placed a temporary export bar on the black 'basaltes' encaustic-decorated First Day’s vase.

The vase, which sold for a premium-inclusive £482,500 at Christie’s Exceptional Sale in London in July 2016, is one of only four vases known to have been made by Josiah Wedgwood on the opening day of his new Etruria factory in Staffordshire on the 13th June 1769.

Following the Christie’s auction, the new owner applied for an export licence. The application was reviewed by the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), which is administered by The Arts Council, and it decided to issue a temporary bar in the hope of finding a UK buyer.

The temporary bar has now been extended to July 14, giving the museum more time to raise the funds.

Third of Target

The Friends of the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery raised more than £83,000

including a £60,000 Arts Council England grant managed by the Victoria and Albert Museum, which will be made to the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery via the city council. With the new £90,000 grant from the Art Fund, it has now raised more than £173,000. This latest grant takes the fundraising to over a third of its target.

Ian Lawley, chairman of Friends of the Museum, said: “The Government’s decision to extend the export ban is another great boost and is a vote of confidence in our ability to maintain the fundraising momentum and save the vase for the people of Stoke-on-Trent.”