The First World War in Objects
In the latter half of the nineteenth century, in a moment of inspiration, the Stoke-on-Trent-based Falcon Pottery, owned by William Henry Goss, started manufacturing white porcelain models which were generally embellished with the coat of arms of a particular town, city or county. In so doing, Goss created a whole new ‘souvenir’ market, his pieces of crested china, ‘fancy ware’ as they were often called, being eagerly sought after by tourists and collectors alike to mark a memorable holiday or national event. For almost half a century, Goss’ products, and those from a number of other firms, formed the basis of a burgeoning seaside souvenir industry. It was one, though, that was drastically curtailed by the outbreak of war in 1914.