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Wedgwood : ウィキペディア英語版

Josiah Wedgwood and Sons, commonly known as Wedgwood, is a fine china, porcelain, and luxury accessories company founded on 1 May 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood.
In 1987, Wedgwood merged with Waterford Crystal to create Waterford Wedgwood, an Ireland-based luxury brands group. Waterford Wedgwood was purchased by the New York City-based private equity firm KPS Capital Partners in 2009, and became part of a group of companies known as WWRD Holdings Ltd., an acronym for "Waterford Wedgwood Royal Doulton." On 2 July 2015, Fiskars Corporation acquired WWRD.

At the outset, Josiah Wedgwood worked with the established potter Thomas Whieldon until 1759 when relatives leased him the ''Ivy House'' in Burslem, Stoke-on-Trent, allowing him to start his own pottery business. The launch of the new venture, his own company, was helped by his marriage to Sarah Wedgwood, a remotely-related cousin, who brought a sizable dowry to the marriage.
In 1765, Wedgwood created a new form of earthenware, which impressed the then British Queen consort Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz who gave official permission to call it "Queen's Ware." This new form sold extremely well across Europe. The following year in 1766 Wedgwood bought ''Etruria'', a large Staffordshire estate, as both a home and factory site. Wedgwood developed a number of further industrial innovations for his company, notably a way of measuring kiln temperatures accurately and the new ware types ''Black Basalt'' and ''Jasper Ware''.
Wedgwood's best known product is jasperware created to look like ancient cameo glass. It was inspired by the Portland Vase, a Roman vessel which is now a museum piece. The first jasperware color was Portland Blue, an innovation that required experiments with more than 3,000 samples. In recognition of the importance of his pyrometric beads (pyrometer), Josiah Wedgwood was elected a member of the Royal Society in 1783. The Wedgwood Prestige collection sold replicas of the original designs as well as modern neo-classical style jasperware.
The main Wedgwood motifs in jasperware, as well–as in other wares like basaltware, queensware, caneware, etc.–were decorative designs that were highly influenced by the ancient cultures being studied and rediscovered at that time, especially as Great Britain was expanding her empire. Many motifs were taken from ancient mythologies: Roman, Greek and Egyptian. Meanwhile, archaeological fever caught the imagination of many artists. Nothing could have been more suitable to satisfy this huge business demand than to produce replicas of ancient artefacts.
Many representations of royalty, nobles and statesmen in silhouette were created, as well as political symbols. These were often set in jewellery, as well as in architectural features like fireplace mantels, mouldings and furniture.
Wedgwood has honoured American individuals and corporations as well, both historically and recently. In 1774 he employed the then 19-year-old John Flaxman as an artist, who would work for the next 12 years mostly for Wedgwood. The "Dancing Hours" may be his most well known design. Other artists known to have worked for Wedgwood include among others Lady Elizabeth Templetown, George Stubbs, Emma Crewe and Lady Diana Beauclerk.
Wedgwood had increasing success with hard paste porcelain which attempted to imitate the whiteness of tea-ware imported from China, an extremely popular product amongst high society. High transport costs and the demanding journey from the Far East meant that the supply of chinaware could not keep up with increasingly high demand. Towards the end of the 18th century other Staffordshire manufacturers introduced bone china as an alternative to translucent and delicate Chinese porcelain.〔Brian Dolan, Wedgwood: The First Tycoon, Viking 2004, p335〕 In 1812 Wedgwood produced their own bone china〔The Grove Encyclopedia of Decorative Arts, ed. Campbell, OUP 2006, Volume 2, p547〕 which, though not a commercial success at first〔 eventually became an important part of an extremely profitable business.
Josiah Wedgwood was also a patriarch of the Darwin–Wedgwood family. Many of his descendants were closely involved in the management of the company down to the time of the merger with the Waterford Company:
*John Wedgwood, eldest son of Josiah I, was a partner in the firm from 1790 to 1793 and again from 1800 to 1812.
*Josiah Wedgwood II (1769–1843), second son of Josiah I, succeeded his father as proprietor in 1795 and introduced the production by the Wedgwood company of bone china. In 1815, during Josiah II's time as proprietor, the great English Romantic poet William Blake (1757–1827) spent time engraving for Wedgwood's china catalogues.〔Michael Davis, William Blake: A New Kind of Man, University of California Press, 1977, pages 140–141〕
*Josiah Wedgwood III (1795–1880), son of Josiah II, was a partner in the firm from 1825 until he retired in 1842.
*Francis Wedgwood, son of Josiah II, was a partner in the firm from 1827 and sole proprietor following his father's death until joined by his own sons. Financial difficulties caused him to offer for sale soon after taking over the firm its factory at Etruria and the family home Etruria Hall, but in the event and fortunately for the company only the hall was sold. He continued as senior partner until his retirement to Barlaston Hall in 1876.
*Godfrey Wedgwood (1833–1905), son of Francis Wedgwood, was a partner in the firm from 1859 to 1891. He and his brothers were responsible for the reintroduction of bone china c.1876 and the employment of the artists Thomas Allen and Emile Lessore.
*Clement Wedgwood (1840–1889), son of Francis Wedgwood, was a partner.
*Laurence Wedgwood (1844–1913), son of Francis Wedgwood, was a partner.
*Major Cecil Wedgwood DSO (1863–1916), son of Godfrey Wedgwood, partner from 1884, first Mayor of the federated County Borough of Stoke-on-Trent (1910–1911), was chairman and managing director of Wedgwood until his death in battle in 1916.
*Kennard Laurence Wedgwood (1873–1949), son of Laurence Wedgwood, was a partner. In 1906 he went to the United States and set up the firm's New York office, which became Josiah Wedgwood and Sons USA, an incorporated subsidiary, in 1919.
*Francis Hamilton Wedgwood (1867–1930), eldest son of Clement Wedgwood, was chairman and managing director from 1916 until his sudden death in 1930.
*Josiah Wedgwood V (1899–1968), grandson of Clement Wedgwood and son of Josiah Wedgwood, 1st Baron Wedgwood, was managing director of the firm from 1930 until 1968 and credited with turning the company's fortunes around. He was responsible for the enlightened decision to move production to a modern purpose built factory in a rural setting at Barlaston. It was designed by Keith Murray in 1936 and built between 1938 and 1940. He was succeeded as managing director by Arthur Bryan (later Sir Arthur), who was the first non-member of the Wedgwood family to run the firm.
Enoch Wedgwood (1813–1879), a distant cousin of the first Josiah, was also a potter and founded his own firm, Wedgwood & Co, in 1860. It was taken over by Josiah Wedgwood & Sons in 1980.
In 1968, Wedgwood purchased many English potteries including Mason's Ironstone, Johnson Brothers, Royal Tuscan, William Adams & Sons, J. & G. Meakin and Crown Staffordshire. In 1979, Waterford Wedgwood purchased the Franciscan Ceramics division of Interpace in the United States. The Los Angeles plant closed in 1984 and production of the Franciscan brand was moved to Johnson Brothers in Britain. In 1986, Waterford Glass Group plc purchased Wedgwood plc forming the company Waterford Wedgwood.

抄文引用元・出典: フリー百科事典『 ウィキペディア(Wikipedia)

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