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Anthony Shaw ceramics collection loaned to York Art Gallery

image captionAnthony Shaw spent 40 years amassing the collection of almost 800 pieces

A major collection of ceramics has been given to York Art Gallery on a long-term loan.

The Anthony Shaw collection is regarded by art experts as one of the most important private collections in Britain.

The collector said he had decided to loan the collection, which includes almost 800 pieces, to York for an initial period of 15 years.

Some works from the collection will go on show at the gallery next year.

The Anthony Shaw collection has been amassed over 40 years and features key works by ceramists Gordon Baldwin, Lucie Rie, Gillian Lowndes, Ewen Henderson and Sara Radstone.

'Outstanding collection'

Janet Barnes, chief executive of York Museum Trust, said she was thrilled the collection was coming to York.

Ms Barnes said: "This is a truly outstanding collection of contemporary sculptural ceramics which features some of the most significant works from the last 40 years."

The gallery's collection of 20th Century studio pottery is one of the largest in Britain with more than 4,000 pieces.

"It will give us the most complete collection of British studio ceramics in the world, detailing the incredibly different styles, techniques and ideas that have been expressed by British ceramists over the last 100 years," Ms Barnes added.

The collection was transferred to a charitable trust in 2002 and has previously been displayed at Mr Shaw's home in west London.

Mr Shaw said: "We have tried to make it available to the public but in a limited space. Having it in a public space, a public museum, will be marvellous."

An exhibition of key pieces from the collection will take place after the refurbishment of the art gallery in 2014.