William King (Biographical details)

William King (curator; British; Male; 1894 - 1958)

Also known as

King, William Augustus Henry


'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 obituary cited above, he died on his 64th birthday (ie in 1958).
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. See Central Archive file for obituary in undated newspaper cutting (presumably The Times)..