26 March 2009
THE DEMISE OF WEDGWOOD : It is upsetting to view the downturn in the fortunes of this once remarkable company from its mid 18th century origins as one of the first World class commercial quality industrial creative companies, to being taken over by Waterford Glass in Ireland, transferring production…. to the Far East , and now in free fall waiting for a “White Knight”.
Founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgewood, an invalid with vision and zeal, whose daughter was the mother of Charles Darwin, Wedgwood was one of the first commercial manufacturers to affordably satisfy the ascent of the new Gentry’s consumer requirement for elegance , simplicity ,and serene pastel beauty. Such creations must be credited with calming the mood, tempering the tempo, flashing gracious idylls before the beholder …promoting a feeling that all is well with the moment…...surely one of the arch talents.
The point was it was made laboriously and expensively and can be made cheaper elsewhere..but these are the anchors of our present connecting to our important, worthwhile formative past. There is a need for our civilization not to trash and rationalise everything. Once the soul departs from a concern and it is viewed solely as a “ brand” or “product” and left to the blinkered herd of fiscal & other professionals the game is over. There was a whole issue of Life magazine at the Dawning of 1970..The Age of Aquarius…where one paragraph pops up in the memory…" War is too important to leave to the Generals , Money is too important for the Bankers, Business too important for the businessmen." ....That was hindsight regarding previous blinding calamities.
Wedgwood is a representative of so many other wasted worthwhile Icons... fearlessly using this hi-jacked word…Another National Treasure…French would call Champion… on the brink
What we are as a nation, a people, is what we do…what we think …what we save…what we discard . We are simply rejoining the Natural World if we try…if we up our game…because we are 60 millions, and a little more faith and sustained positive intent from enough of us will sort things out. Thriving UK quality enterprises like Martin-Baker …World leader in Military Aircraft ejector seats…JCBarling earth movers…Rolls Royce World No 2 Aircraft Engine manufacturer..Most of the Formula 1 racing teams are British based and manned , literally a World Class Cottage industry… are all National Gems and although would not be preserved regardless their souls have not departed they survive and thrive . All in niche markets ..what market isn’t / can’t be ?..Not conglomerate but man sized , steerable , good roadholding , good looking…like Bentley and Mini Motor Cars..recognized and appreciated by our German cousins if not by our fellows. Wake up England.
There were many fine Chimneypieces, chimney furniture, lighting and other items decorated with Wedgwood Jasperware plaques in many fine important houses here and abroad.
10244..is a pair of siverplated firedogs with green Wedgwood plaques…9858 is a beautiful chimneypiece in the manner of Robert Adam featuring fine Jasperware blue plaques…7794 is a pair of Robert Adam style wall lights / sconces again with green Jasperware…7755 is an elegant Georgian fireplace mantel with green Wedgwood decorative plaques…3212…is another.