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Benares House Gallery
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Title: Plate – Wedgwood
Identifier: 979.6.380
Donor: Geoffrey Harris Sayers
Item Date: 1927
Image Creator: Museums of Mississauga
Creation Date: 2006
Location: Benares Historic House

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Description: A plate with blue pattern on white background. The border is geometric with alternating bands of white and blue background. The center pattern includes profiles of three women. The manufacturer's mark is in brown on the bottom of the plate and shows a handled urn and states "Wedgwood, Etruria, England". It has a stamped "D" indicating that it was made in 1927. History: Josiah Wedgwood (1730 - 1792) was born into a family of potters and started work as a thrower in his eldest brother's pottery. He had to give up throwing in 1739 when he had his leg amputated after a serious case of smallpox. He opened his own pottery with partner Thomas Bentley in 1759 in Etruria, England near Stokes-on-Trent. He was appointed Queen's potter in 1762 by Queen Charlotte and Empress Catherine II of Russia was also a patron. He experimented with barium sulphate (caulk) which resulted in the famous moulded reliefs. In 1783 he was elected a Royal Society Fellow for inventing a pyrometer to measure oven temperatures. He also worked tirelessly to find ways to run his factory efficiently. He died in 1792 leaving a thriving business. Wedgwood's daughter, Susannah, was the mother of Charles Darwin. The company is still in existence and there is a Wedgwood Museum which was formally opened in 1906 at the site of the original factory in Etruria. The Wedgwood Company moved to a new location in 1940 and in 1950 a gallery for their collections was created at Barlaston. A new Visitor Centre was built in 1975 and enlarged in 1985. Currently a new centre is being built which attests to the popularity of Wedgwood artifacts today. See: This item was donated by Geoffrey Harris Sayers, who was born 23 April 1907 and died 25 November 1997. A retired businessman, he was the first child of Beverly and Annie Sayers (nee Harris). A member of the Canadian Armed Forces, he was appointed 2nd Lieutenant 14 June 1938. Two years later, he was appointed Lieutenant. As of 21 April 1941, he was appointed the rank of Temporary Captain, and was recommended for appointment to the Lorne Scots (P. D. and H. Regiment) based out of Brampton. According to his military file, Captain Geoffrey Sayers served with the Canadian Armed Forces from 21 April 1941 until 11 October 1945, when he was honourably discharged. From 17 June 1941 until 13 March 1945, he also served with the British Forces (he had British citizenship). He received the Canadian Volunteer Service Medal and Clasp 1939-45. Geoffrey Sayers and his sisters, Dora Sayers Caro, and Barbara Sayers Larson donated Benares Historic House to the Ontario Heritage Foundation in 1969. It has operated as a museum under the City of Mississauga since 1995 and was officially transferred to Mississauga in 2000. Geoffrey Sayers and his wife Kathleen (née Colloten) occupied Benares from 1969 until 1981. During that time, they acted as care takers of the estate on behalf Ontario Heritage Foundation. They kept a small display of artifacts in the kitchen, and opened up the house once a year to the public. He also maintained the Benares financial affairs in 1932 for Naomi (Na) and Mary, who were unable to do so themselves.
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Related Links:
   Canadian Heritage Information Network (CHIN)