No other examples of the pattern or shape are known to exist.
The 35-piece black and gilt set and the 10 drawings were sold as two separate lots at Sotheby’s Paris sale in December 2021 as part of the collection of the late fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld (1933-2019). The set sold for a hammer price of €5000/£4250 (or €6350 including buyer’s premium), and the 10 drawings sold for €9000/£7650 or €11,340.
The pencil drawn designs show the journey from concept to production. Follot, who was later co-director of Waring & Gillow’s French furniture department during the 1930s, had first been recommended to Cecil Wedgwood in 1911.
None of the designs he produced were manufactured until the early 1920s and, proving extremely labour-intensive, were only made in small quantities. For this set dating to c.1923 Follet created four different shapes of cup, each with a complementary saucer shape, as well as a cafetiere, small tea pot, cream or milk jug and sugar bowl.
The set is known as ‘Campanula’ and is one of only a small number of Wedgwood products made in the overt Deco style.
Lagerfeld, a passionate collector, is believed to have used the set and the V&A’s conservation team have worked to restore some imperfections. However a teapot lid is missing and a project is in early-stage development with the Wedgwood factory to determine whether this piece can be recreated.
The V&A were able to raise the money to make the purchase via a number of charities and funds including the V&A Americas Foundation (specifically from A Alfred Taubman Foundation at the recommendation of William and Ellen Taubman); The Friends of the National Libraries; The Decorative Arts Society 40th Anniversary Fund; Simon Wedgwood as well as from the late Jacob Holt who left a percentage of his estate to the V&A when he died age just 20.