The best part about India is the fact that people here love a good party; entertaining guests is a big part of the culture, as I have witnessed myself,” says Lord Piers Wedgwood. Seated comfortably at the luxury lifestyle store Mondo Casa in Mumbai’s Lower Parel, there’s more to his enthusiasm than just the Indian hospitality he has recently witnessed. It takes root in the fact that the iconic Wedgwood brand of crockery that he owns, is officially launching in India.
An English company that specialises in creating luxurious tableware and giftware patterns, the brand’s history dates back to the 18th century when it was founded by Josiah Wedgwood, credited for the industrialisation of pottery. As his direct descendant, Lord Wedgwood has been actively involved with this family legacy since the ’70s.
Talking about the Indian chapter, Lord Wedgwood recounts how the plan to reach out to crockery lovers here shaped up last year. “We first met Rana and Kunika Singh of Mondo Casa at Ambiente, an international consumer goods fair in Frankfurt. We then initiated talks to bring down our range here,” he says. Not only did the couple team up with the English company, they also hosted an elaborate reception along with the Mumbai store’s co-founder Anita Dev in honour of Lord Wedgwood on Wednesday evening.
The range on offer is impressive, to say the least. Classic lines of tea sets and vases from different collections, such as Cornucopia, Polka Dots and Royal Albert are available for sale. Jasperware — a kind of stoneware first developed by Josiah Wedgwood, known for its matte finish — has crockery in myriad colours. Also occupying a place of pride at the store are special collections — including photo frames, tea sets and trays, lined with gold, silver and platinum — by renowned designers Vera Wang and Jasper Conran. “These designers are gifted and their design ethos ties in with our philosophy of offering quality, distinctive design and craftsmanship,” he explains.
Interestingly, Wedgwood, who has served in the military and in the House of Lords, is also an authority on the art as much as on the industry of English ceramic manufacturing. He has received an Honorary Doctorate from the faculty of Art and Design at Staffordsire University for his services, which are aimed at the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage through pottery. “As 13 generations of my family have been involved in the