| By Kathleen Luhrs

Museum Accessions: A Wedgwood Revival

February 2, 2009  |  

The mantelpiece featured here is one of twelve designed for a large neoclassical Georgian house on the estate of Buckminster Park in Grantham, Leicestershire, one of the family seats of William Tollemache, ninth Earl of Dysart. In 1881 or 1882 the young Lord Dysart commissioned the architect Halsey Ricardo to completely remodel and redecorate the house.

Both an interior and decorative designer, Ricardo had trained under the noted arts and crafts architect Norman Shaw and was very mindful of the movement's purist spirit and stress on fine workmanship. He was for a time a partner in-and is the best-known of the designers for-the ceramics firm of William De Morgan. Perhaps the eighteenth-century style of the house and Ricardo's proclivity for pottery gave him the idea of reviving the Wedgwood surrounds of the time when the house was first built.

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by Émile Jacques Ruhlmann (1879-1933), 1926. Macassar ebony, amaranth, and ivory. Metropolitan Museum of Art. By Cynthia Drayton

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