Export ban placed on £225,000 Burges vase to keep it in UK

The William Burges vase and Cardiff Castle Image copyright DCMS/BBC

A rare vase, designed for Cardiff Castle, has had an export ban placed on it so the full set can stay in the UK.

It was one of four William Burges pieces and was at risk of being sold to an overseas buyer unless someone could match the asking price of £225,000.

Culture minister Ed Vaizey has placed the temporary bar on the vase, designed in 1874 and the last one still in private ownership.

The export licence application has been deferred until 16 September.

This could be extended to 16 February 2017 if a serious intention to raise funds to buy it for £225,000 is made.

The four vases were designed for the summer smoking room in the castle's clock tower.

One is in London's Victoria and Albert Museum, another at the Higgins Gallery and Museum, Bedford, while the third vase was subject to an export bar last year and was subsequently saved by the National Museum of Wales.

William Burges was commissioned by John Patrick-Crichton-Stuart, 3rd Marquess of Bute, to rebuild Cardiff Castle.

The vases were designed to reflect the interior of the summer smoking room.

Chairman of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA), Sir Hayden Phillips, said: "Apart from this vase's intrinsic quality, the opportunity is now there for us to retain the original quartet which would be a noble purpose, in the public interest and of great historical significance."

Among the reasons for the RCEWA's recommendation were that the vase is of outstanding aesthetic importance and of outstanding significance for the study of the development of Burges's designs.

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