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12 September 2013 | By Wrightson and Platt
The Royal inspiration behind Wrightson and Platt.
With the arrival of Kate and Williams’ baby, George Alexander Louis of Cambridge being the focus of the public eye; it is hard to believe that George is already over one month old; it is at times like these that we begin to realize how those first precious moments of a child’s life go by in the blink of an eye. As soon as we are welcoming a child into the world, they are already part of it as they begin to grow and develop so quickly.
Here at Wrightson and Platt we capture these ephemeral moments and value the importance of preserving family memories. So we thought we would take this time to delve a little into the history of our own Royal inspiration. Giving you a glimpse of what inspires us, why we appreciate the love of memories and create something that you can treasure for a lifetime. Capturing these moments with such care and attention is such a prominent part of history, especially when we look towards the Royal family.
Queen Victoria was the first British monarch to have a photograph of her family taken. She used the most advance artistic skills and technologies to record memories wanting to capture the details of her family in the best possible way. She was an advocate for art and design, appreciating and promoting new technologies which were expanding throughout her reign. Known for her extensive photography collection of her family, capturing details of her children was something that she love to do. And when the opportunity arose to have her children’s hands and feet carved. It was Mary Thornycroft’s sculptural skills that caught her attention. Studying at the Royal Academy under her father John Francis, Mary was one of the first female sculptures to study at the academy. And following in her father’s footsteps, she worked alongside him at times, and it was on the occasion when he was in the company of Queen Victoria, that the queen saw the quality in Mary’s own work. Queen Victoria took this moment to commission Mary, to sculpt the hands and feet of all nine of her precious children. And it was not just the once, Queen Victoria continued to have carvings of her children made as they grew up, a wonderful documentation of their growth. As Mary remained a sculptor for the Royal family for the majority of her life, in this time she also taught the Queen’s daughter Princess Louise in sculpting and modelling.
Sculptor, Mary Thornycroft.
Mary Thornycroft, the acclaimed Victorian sculptor was and is an inspiration. And for this reason when you visit our Knightsbridge showroom, you’ll see sitting proudly on our desk, an elegant bust of Mary. This remarkable lady is to whom we owe thanks for an emotional and Royal influence on our work Victoria’s own personal desire to preserve family memories, developed a tradition of taking casts of family members and creating beautiful sculptures. The idea was to conserve this innocence and sense of family as more than just as memory, and as something that could be physically revisited and passed down in history. As we have looked to the past, we can see how the future has unfolded. We can look to the collections of the Royal family sculptures and not just have a time line of events and people, but the wonderful details of who they were. Mary Thornycroft’s artworks are still part of the Royal Collection and have been for over 150 years, her skills as a sculptor have immortalized details of a family that could have been lost in time. How the tiny hand of a prince became a king, capturing the most delicate moments of life, preserving details that leave not just a fading memory but a lasting legacy.
Mary took plaster cast of each child’s hands and feet, she used to create carving of the children’s hands and feet out of alabaster. Using her skills as a sculptor and the tools and technology available at that time to make the most life like carving possible, from using the cast to replicate the tiny details into alabaster. Wanting to capture every tiny crease and crevice, lump and bump, shape and surface to immortalizing a detail from that precise moment. And this is something that is at the heart of Wrightson and Platt. It was in 1999 when Vicky Platt and Denise Wrightson first founded W&P that their mutual appreciation of preserving those ephemeral moments in life ignited their inspirations to revive tradition. With the technology of the 21st century intertwined with traditional methods from British craftsmanship this proposed an exciting opportunity to push the boundaries of what was previously possible. With their artistic background and focus on quality, using the best materials, process and artists you will find the most stunning forms of art here at Wrightson and Platt. Creating luxury, bespoke art works that you can treasure with your family for a lifetime.
”Big brother and baby brother hands cast in 18ct yellow gold”
From life cast hands and feet to the engraving of a finger print. You will find an endless array of beautiful bespoke art works. Using the precious materials of gold, silver, bronze and glass you will discover the many exquisite sculptures and jewellery that we make. From high level casting and 3D scanning, using the best technology you will find miniaturized life casts, cufflinks, necklaces, keyrings, pendants, bracelets, rings, hand held vases, and so much more. So why not come and take a peek in our showroom on Walton Street and see where our Royal inspiration has taken us, and see the wonderful works we produce that can be with you for a lifetime.