The V&A Museum have acquired a rare tea and coffee set designed by Paul Follot for Wedgwood, which was owned by fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld.
The museum, which also purchased the accompanying set of Follot’s design drawings, said no other examples of the pattern, or even the shape, are known to exist. The tea set and drawings are currently on display at the V&A Wedgwood Collection in Barlaston, Stoke-on-Trent.
Catrin Jones, chief curator at the V&A Wedgwood Collection, said in a statement: “This glamourous art deco set is a rare and unusual example of Paul Follot’s designs for Wedgwood, reflecting the tastes of its collector, fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld, known for his love of monochrome as well as his interest in ceramics.
“These extraordinary pieces and their design drawings fill an important gap in the V&A Wedgwood Collection and are a wonderful example of the Wedgwood company’s tradition of working with innovative artists to create their designs, and of inspiring tastemakers such as Karl Lagerfeld.”
Follot, who died in 1941, was a French designer of luxury furniture and decorative art objects. After World War I, he became a director of the Pomona Studios for the Paris department store Le Bon Marché. In 1911, he was recommended to Cecil Wedgwood, one of the partners of the Wedgwood company, by French retailer Georges Rouard.
The V&A added that Follot’s designs for Wedgwood were “very labour-intensive” to produce, and as such were only made in small quantities, meaning that they are now “very rare.”
The ‘Campanula’ tea and coffee set and design drawings represent “a very significant contribution to the V&A Wedgwood Collection as only a very small number of Wedgwood products were made in the Art Nouveau and Art Deco styles”.
The set was owned by Lagerfeld, who died in 2019, and as the pieces show some signs of wear, the museum thinks that the designer probably used it.