Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Saving Wedgwood 2. "a double dose of Wedgwood"

"There was more reserve about my grandmother, because she was a Wedgwood.  My father explained to me once,  that my grandfather [Charles Darwin] was rather different from his children, because he was only half a Wedgwood, while they had a double dose of Wedgwood blood in them, owing to two Darwin-Wedgwood marriages in two successive generation.  'You've none of you ever seen a Darwin who wasn't mostly Wedgwood,' he said rather sadly, as of a dying strain.  He can hardly have known any pure Darwin himself, as his grandfather Robert, the last unmitigated Darwin of the line, died when he was only three."

Period Piece  Gwen Raverat





Wedgwood Creamware teapot, c. 1780
© Fitzwilliam Museum 









Gwen Raverat is known for her engravings - as a child she wanted to be 'Mrs. Bewick' - and trained at the Slade with Stanley Spencer.   She grew up with an extended family of aunts, uncles and cousins in Cambridge, and holidayed in the countryside at Down House.  Tea parties and grazing sheep would have been very familiar to her.



This teapot was part  of the major collection of ceramics given to the Fitzwilliam Museum by Dr J.W.L. Glaisher,  who, like Gwen Raverat's father George Darwin, was a don at Trinity College, Cambridge and a President of the Royal Astronomical Society.




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