Chinese translucent porcelain, which became known in Europe in medieval times, was referred to as white gold, valued as equal to the most noble metal. The composition and method of manufacture remained a mystery in Europe until 1708 when the German alchemist, Johann Bottger, discovered the secret of hard-paste porcelain.
Sensational scandals have long inspired lively conversation around the tea table. Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, a lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, is credited with starting the traditional English afternoon tea party in the 1840s. Apparently she was no stranger to gossip. The Duchess experienced a sinking feeling in the
As Halloween approaches, we are highlighting some of the spookier pieces in the WMODA collections. One of the most sinister is Ghostly Wood designed by Daisy Makeig-Jones for Wedgwood’s Fairyland Lustre collection. Daisy derived images from the Legend of Croquemitaine illustrated by Gustave Doré in 1866, as well as fairy
During the roaring twenties, party-goers loved to dress up in devilish costumes. A favorite was Mephistopheles, a demon who corrupts men and collects the souls of the damned for Lucifer. The demon appears in the German legend of Faust, who wagers his soul to the devil and seduces the innocent
Tea parties at WMODA are elegant affairs with dainty sandwiches, scones and desserts served on Royal Albert tableware. Royal Albert was founded in Stoke-on-Trent in 1896 and is renowned internationally for producing fine bone china tea-wares with floral decoration inspired by English country gardens. The Albert china factory was named
The Great Dragon by Lladró is one of the showstoppers at WMODA. The museum piece is a unique colorway of the High Porcelain sculpture modeled by Francisco Polope in 2008. In Chinese culture, dragons are powerful and benevolent symbols unlike the aggressive fire-breathing dragons of Western mythology. They control water,
Toots Zynsky pioneered a technique for weaving thousands of fine glass threads into undulating shapes which she calls filet de verre. Her preference for vibrant, opaque glass creates a painterly use of color. “It’s really like painting”, says Toots. “It is an identical thought process – the way you build
Visitors to WMODA often ask about the majestic lion which greets them at reception. The terracotta lion was modeled by John Broad for Royal Doulton and some were originally sited beside statues of Queen Victoria which were erected in Britain after her death in 1901. At Newbury in Berkshire, a
The Fairyland Lustre collection at WMODA is one of the most comprehensive in the world. Virtually every shape and pattern made by the Wedgwood factory during the 1920s is on display. Now, one of the sought after designs has joined the collection – a Malfrey pot with the Bubbles design.