Regular blog readers will have spotted our review of the V&A exhibition The Cult of Beauty: The Aesthetic Movement 1860 - 1900, on now until mid July. What you might not know is that the Fiells have their own Aestheticist-inspired interior, which was profiled in The Telegraph earlier this year. As a follow up, we thought we'd share with you some more snapshots...
Displayed on this oak sideboard are three Japanese-inspired brass and copper teapots designed by Christopher Dresser for Benham & Froud from around 1890 of which Peter Fiell is a particular fan. He says:
'with their pared back and massively simplified forms, completely devoid of any extraneous ornament, you can see the origins of modern design in these pieces which enabled true, industrial mass production. You take away anything that is unnecessary, and leave only what is fundamental - not only are you saving cost, but you're maximising the efficiency of the industrial process. At the same time you're providing the consumer with way more value because so much more of the effort has gone into the intrinsic object and not into elaborate and unnecessary surface treatment. Most people associate Dresser with his silver pieces, but it is the copper pieces that he did for Benham & Froud that were truly mass produced. Not only are they astonishing for their beautiful design, but they're timeless too.'
Spoken like a true modernist!
Amongst the treasures in their living room are a wooden mantlepiece and brass fire screen, both designed by Thomas Jeckyll. The fire screen is decorated with a brass sunflower on each end, one of the decorative motifs closely associated with the movement.
Made by the Wolverhampton firm Henry Loveridge & co. at the turn of the century, the design of this rounded brass jug with two raise horizontal bands is also attributed to Dresser, who is widely recognised as one of the first British industrial designers.
Posted by Cat Rossi.
Our thanks go to Michael Harding for the photographs.
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