Stunning ceramics exhibit mirrors Waddesdon Manor’s beauty


A beautiful exhibition of Kate Malone ceramics at Waddesdon Manor is inspired by the splendour of the Rothschild house in Buckinghamshire.

Waddesdon Manor’s north front. Credit: Chris Lacey/National Trust

A new exhibition at Waddesdon Manor, Kate Malone: Inspired by Waddesdon, is a unique collection of ceramics that represent the essence of this vibrant French-style châteaux.

One of the UK’s leading ceramic artists, Kate has created a collection of new work reflecting the great Rothschild house in the heart of Buckinghamshire featuring more than 50 individual pieces created in response to the manor’s gardens, archives, collections and people.

Built in the late 19th century by Baron Ferdinand de Rothschild, Waddesdon Manor  was used for entertaining political, cultural and royal guests and also to house his extensive art collection. The house was bequeathed to the National Trust in 1957, and now hosts frequent exhibitions, with ever-growing collections.

Kate Malone: Inspired by Waddesdon is in the Coach House, The Stables, at Waddesdon Manor. Credit: Kate Malone. Image credit: Mike Fear/The National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

Kate undertook a research residency at Waddesdon, working with curators, archivists and gardeners to explore the many aspects of the estate. The result was this uniquely tailored collection, which emulates the rich history of the manor – the influence of Waddesdon’s Sevres porcelain, extensive collections of paintings and passementerie are all evident.

The central pieces of the collection are Baron Ferdinand and Miss Alice, two crystalline-glazed stoneware vases standing at just under a meter high. Dedicated to Baron Ferdinand and his sister Alice, they embody their physiques and interests.

For Baron Ferdinand, the rich purple glaze is both fashionable for a 19th-century gentleman and reflects his love of copper beech trees. His tapered hat reiterates the shape of the manor’s roof towers, while the bird finial references both his aviary of tropical birds and the three-dimensional floral displays in the gardens.

For Miss Alice the hundreds of porcelain daisies on the vase and the pumpkin finial reflect Miss Alice’s interest in gardening and her pride in Eythrope, her private garden on the adjoining estate.


With a career spanning more than 30 year, Kate Malone’s ceramics are now in over 25 international public collections. She has developed an unmistakable and highly regarded style, and the sophistication of her glazes has led to collaborations with prominent architects and designers, working on inspiring public art projects in hospitals, schools, parks and libraries.

This exhibition is part of the Contemporary at Waddesdon initiative, which encourages artists to respond to the historic collections and interiors as well as the gardens. Previous collaborators have included Edmund de Waal, Jane Wildgoose, Simon Periton and Joan Sallas.

The exhibition runs until 16 October in the Coach House Gallery and admission is included with a Waddesdon Manor grounds ticket.

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