Stone Vase from Pompeii

Ancient Worlds

It doesn’t happen that often but occasionally there’s an opportunity to leave the office to go and see something really interesting. I found myself on the road to the village of Carsington in Derbyshire in the New Year with Sam Sportun, Senior Conservator at Manchester Museum. We’d received word of a large stone vase that was brought back from Pompeii by Sir William Gell (1777-1836).
Sir William was a Classicist, a diplomat and topographer who travelled extensively in Greece and other  Mediterranean lands during the early decades of the 19th century [these details are extracted from the introduction in Edith Clay’s Sir William Gell Letters to the Society of Dilletenti 1831-5 (London: Hamish Hamilton, 1976)].  He led a mission on behalf of the Society of Dilettanti to Ionia and published the results of this as well as other archaeological and topographical works. Gell produced illustrations for his handsome publications using a camera lucida. Campbell Price, Curator of Egypt and the Sudan, lent me…

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