Enfilade

Online Lecture | Sir Watkin’s Table

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on February 20, 2021

From a service of Sèvres porcelain ‘service a rubans bleu celeste’, ca. 1770, sold at Christie’s in 2018 (Sale 16185, Lot 1164). 

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Sunday via Zoom from The French Porcelain Society:

Oliver Fairclough, Sir Watkin’s Table
FPS Living Room Lecture, 21 February 2021, 18.00 (BST)

For its next Living Room Lecture, the French Porcelain Society is honoured to welcome Oliver Fairclough, a recent FPS Chairman and the former Keeper of Art at the National Museum in Cardiff. He will discuss the fashionable taste for fine dining of eighteenth-century Welsh politician Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn. We hope you can join us! For free links, please email FPSmailing@gmail.com.

Sir Watkin Williams-Wynn (1749–1789) was one of the richest men of his day, and he set himself up in style during the 1770s. Robert Adam built him an exquisite London house in St James’s Square, and he entertained lavishly there and at his country seat, Wynnstay in Denbighshire. As well as commissioning one of the largest architect-designed silver table services of the eighteenth century, he acquired porcelain services from Sèvres, Meissen and Tournai, as well as Nankeen and English porcelains—and huge quantities of Wedgwood creamware for mass hospitality. His table services, and the settings in which they were used, are exceptionally well-documented by designs, and in account books, bills and inventories.

Sir Watkin’s silver and ceramics were sold off after World War II, together with his superlative paintings and furniture from the St James’s Square house. Examples are now in both public and private collections around the world. The largest group can be seen at the National Museum in Cardiff, where Oliver Fairclough was formerly Keeper of Art.

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