Pinto explains that he has introduced more decorative elements into other bedrooms and bathrooms â˜to amuse my guests when they come to stay’. In one room, pride of place is given to a splendidly baroque Portuguese bed composed of myriad bobbin-turned posts and finials. Another delightful feature of the house is a profusion of fine, snowy-white linen. Pinto recalls a remarkable stroke of luck: â˜In a very dull furniture sale which I looked into one day, I found forty or more sets of antique bed-sheets and other things; they were all in perfect condition and, by an extraordinary coincidence, all embroidered with the initials of the name of the house.
It is just another nice touch that adds to the pleasure of the place.’ Monsieur Pinto laughs again, as though even he cannot believe his good fortune THE HAND OF THE POTTER This year marks the bicentenary of Josiah Wedgwood’s death. DINING RESERVATIONS FOR DISNEYLAND Nonie Niesewand becomes a time traveller for an interview with a remarkable man It is 1786 and Josiah Wedgwood’s latest pot, known as the Portland vase, is receiving rave reviews. It’s a fake, of course – even Sir Joshua Reynolds declares it a â˜correct and faithfull imitation’ in china of the Alexandrian glass original, C.25BC. So why should this hourglass urn, decorated with near-naked Grecian women, draw such crowds to Wedgwood’s showrooms in Greek Street, London? Sir William Hamilton, our man in Naples, who brought the vase back to Britain together with Grecian and Etruscan antiquities, has made Neoclassicism fashionable, and Josiah Wedgwood, the industrialist potter, is quick to mass-market the look. Now everyone can marvel at the classical forms and take home a souvenir.