Houses of Parliament Jar, 1941
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Height of Jar: 22cm (8.5in)
Stone, oak and lead with glazed ceramic liner. After the Houses of Parliament were damaged by enemy action in May 1941, Stonecraft Limited of London obtained rights to work the blitzed fabric of the building into a range of useful artefacts that were sold in aid of the Red Cross & St John Fund. The present jar is one of the larger domestic pieces created from the rubble of the Palace of Westminster. It was designed by H. Brockhurst for Stonecraft Limited and is adorned with lead plaque featuring St George and the Dragon over ‘London 1941’. Chip visible to stone rim.
The Palace of Westminster was damaged by air raids on fourteen different occasions during the Second World War. The incendiary bombs which fell on the nights of 10 and 11 May 1941 caused the greatest damage to the Palace. The Commons Chamber was hit by bombs and the roof of Westminster Hall was set on fire. The fire service said that it would be impossible to save both, so it was decided to concentrate on saving Westminster Hall. The Commons Chamber was entirely destroyed by the fire which spread to the Members' Lobby and caused the ceiling to collapse. By the following morning, all that was left of the Chamber was a smoking shell. A small bomb struck the Clock Tower and broke all the glass on its south face, but the clock and bells were undamaged and the chimes could be broadcast as usual. The House of Lords was struck by a bomb which passed through the floor of the Chamber without exploding.