Wednesday, July 22, 2009

At Home with Wedgwood




Recently, I was thinking about my favorite Tiffany & Co. tablesetting books from the 1980s and 90s (The New Tiffany Table Settings, Tiffany Taste, and The Tiffany Gourmet Cookbook) and lamenting the fact that there haven't been many books of late that have captivated me like the Tiffany books. On a lark, I ordered At Home with Wedgwood: The Art of the Table by Tricia Foley and frankly wasn't sure what to expect. I just received it yesterday, and guess what? No more lamentation- this book looks fantastic.

The book discusses the illustrious history of Wedgwood china and includes chapters on prominent Wedgwood collectors, including Suzanne Rheinstein, Charlotte Moss, Stephen Drucker, and Michael Smith. To be honest, I didn't have a chance to read the text last night. But if the photos are any indication, the text should be quite interesting too.


Designer Diane Martinson created a Neoclassical look for her home; the table is set with Wedgwood candlesticks in the Edme pattern.


Charlotte Moss set a table for a post ballet supper using Wedgwood black basalt and creamware- all set on a pink tablecloth. Gorgeous.


Stephen Drucker is an avid collector of black basalt portrait busts. In this photo taken in his apartment, a basalt wine ewer and a collection of over 500(!) reproduction plaster casts provide a graphic display. Now I'm inspired to start collecting plaster casts.


Lord Wedgwood's home outside of Philadelphia. (I thought for sure it was in England.) The green Chinese Tigers teacups are a c. 1984 Wedgwood pattern.


Author Tricia Foley's Upper East Side apartment where drinks are set on a table with black basalt ware and silver punch bowls used as coolers.


(All images from At Home with Wedgwood: The Art of the Table)

23 comments:

  1. i got this book a few weeks ago and not only is it pretty, but the stories are great too. it's very fresh! tricia foley is my idol anyway!

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  2. I've coveted this book since I first heard of it as I'm a wedgwood collector as well -so glad to hear it's worthwhile! I didn't know the designer connections were part of the book -now i'm definitely in!

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  3. Clint, I read a few of the stories last night and they were great. Gorgeous book!

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  4. Stefan- I didn't know that either until I opened the book yesterday. That was a fantastic surprise! I think this book is right up your alley.

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  5. Yes, definitely sounds like a must have. Thanks for your insights!

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  6. Making my yearning for basalt even greater. And I love the wine cooler idea!

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  7. Huge, huge fan of Tricia Foley, so looking very much forward to receiving this in the mail!

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  8. Aesthete- It was a very pleasant surprise! Not that I expected it not to be a great book, but it exceeded my expectations.

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  9. I remember my mother always disliking Wedgwood but I find the basalt gorgeous. Must check out that fine book. Thanks for the tip!

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  10. I love everything Tricia Foley does. So glad to know about this book!

    A bit of arcane trivia: Josiah Wedgewood, founder of the company, was Charles Darwin's grandfather. The success of the business is largely what enabled Darwin to do the gentleman scholar thing instead of getting a day job.

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  11. Great-I am a Wedgwood collector. I'm off to order this-thanks!

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  12. It is a great time to collect basalt ware as it ahs been out of fashion for a while and prices are low--must be due for a come-back soon.

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  13. I had never seen black wedgewood before, and now I am really loving/coveting the tea cups on the cover! Makes me want to have a slightly gothic tea party.

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  14. I'll have to buy this book and recommend it for the St. Louis Public Library to purchase!! I love black basalt!! A friend of mine here in St. Louis, Leslie Canavan, has a blog on Wedgewood: http://aawedgwoodblog.blogspot.com/ and has an online shop AlexisAntiques.com. She's super!!! You'll learn a lot from her blog!!

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  15. Anonymous1:01 PM

    Jennifer,
    Thanks for mentioning this book about Wedgewood. I am eager to check it out.
    I have to mention a fun encounter with Wedgewood. Years ago I bought a special Hawaii edition plate with Diamondhead on it. Lord Wedgewood came here to Honolulu to promote this piece. It was such a thrill to have him autograph my plate. You would have thought I were meeting a rock star!

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  16. I covet the black Wedgwood!

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  17. Have featured all of these books on various posts - so interesting that they are yours as well!

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  18. This reminded me that I grew up with white wedgewood china. Thank you!

    ELlen

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  19. The New Tiffany Table Settings has been on my shelf for years. Everytime I open it, I see something new. I was so glad to have it along with the photo of Julia Child's kitchen for a recent post.
    I think I should pick up the Wedgewood book to sit between Tiffany & Faberge, don't you?
    The cover is gorgeous, can only imagine the goodies inside.
    Lisa

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  20. Lisa- You'll love the Wedgwood book- it's so interesting and the photos are gorgeous!!!

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  21. wow, im learning so much about Wedgwood in my little quest for answers. They've produced so many beautiful pieces.

    Anyway, this is probably intruding, however I hope it's not, as I've tried many different sources to no avail, and I'm running out of ideas...... so help :( please.

    My mother-in-law inherited a set of 12 first edition USC Commemorative plates. On the front of 11 of the plates are 11 buildings from the campus, and one of the plates features the USC Trojan. On the back of each one it says the name of the building on the front, Copyright 1933 Southern California Plate Co., Patent Pending, Wedgwood, England. And there are "Made in England by Wedgwood" and what looks like a serial number engraved in the back of each one.

    We are interested in finding the value of these plates. Someone asked to purchase them and said to name a price, but we don't know what they are even worth. We've tried contacting the Wedgwood Museum in England, but they couldn't help. My mother in law would like to use the money to buy her mother a proper place for her ashes, but doesnt know where to even start to assess the value of the plates.

    Can anyone here point me in the right direction or help with any information? It would be greatly appreciated. I can email pictures of the plates if it helps, they are stunning :)

    My email address is donthedude@live.com. Thank you so very much in advance.

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  22. Look at the largest college plates website for comparisons. Check www.collegeplates.com they sell at retail, $65 each will probably the right price for your plates.

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  23. Anonymous9:02 PM

    Please you all, Wedgwood has NO second E....you can't really know a lot about it if you can't even spell it! The family name has been spelled this way for hundreds of years! Make yourselves look smart!

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