- Also known as
primary name: King, William Augustus Henry
- individual; curator; British; Male
- Life dates
- 'Willie' King, joined the British Museum from the V&A in 1926, working initially in the Dept of Ceramics and Ethnography 1926-54. In 1933 this department was abolished and a Department of Oriental Antiquities was created which retained the western ceramics until the retirement of R. L. Hobson (qv) in1938, when they were returned to British and Mediaeval Antiquities. Willie King transferred with them, becoming deputy keeper 1952. Expert in European porcelain and socialite (he had a Rolls Royce and chauffeur to go with it and his wife ran a literary salon), he had wide connections all over Europe. According to The Times obituary cited under bibliography, he died on his 64th birthday.
In 1921 he was among the founding members of the Oriental Ceramic Society. From 1927-1930 he was acting Hon Secretary of the Society.
Publications: "Chelsea Porcelain", London 1922; "English Porcelain Figures of the 18th Century", London 1925; R. L. Hobson, B. Rackham and W. King,"Chinese Ceramics in Private Collections", 1931.
Among his many articles are 'Origins of Lustre', "Transactions of the Oriental Ceramic Society", vol. 8, 1928-1930, pp.15-20.
- Memoirs written by his wife: Viva King, 'The Weeping and the Laughter. An Autobiography', London 1976.
C.J. Wright, "Williw King: One of Angus Wilson's 'Old Men at the Zoo'", British Library Journal 2017 (online), article 8.
The Times obituary: 'Mr. W.A.H. King: Ceramics at British Museum'. 24 February 1958.