Garnet Apple 121/14
Designer: Rachel Bishop
Limited Edition: 100
To be honest, I have always been curious about the Moorcroft love of pomegranates. It started with William, of course, around 1910, and apart from the era of Walter Moorcroft, continued unabated until the present day. Unlike his father, Walter Moorcroft had no time for pomegranates, and as a result, the design had a well-earned rest of more than forty years. Today, pomegranates are back with a vengeance, a design subject matter particularly loved by Emma Bossons and our senior designer, Rachel Bishop. This is not solely because pomegranates lend themselves so beautifully to artistic dissection, but because the fruit encapsulates time in a marvellous way. The star of any good Mediterranean garden is frequently a pomegranate tree, the more so the further East you travel. Indeed, contemporary opinion is that it was not an apple which Adam and Eve ate at the dawn of biblical times, but a pomegranate. Nobody knows where, when or how the mistranslation occurred, but we all know that the French word for ‘apple’ is ‘pomme’. The simple truth is that in the Middle East five thousand years ago, apples were an almost unknown luxury, whereas pomegranates were a familiar fruit for hunter-gatherers in much the same way as figs. After all, that earliest of all ‘cover ups’ was a fig leaf – a phrase still used to cover a multitude of sins to the present day!
Rachel Bishop has always been profoundly attracted to the succulent pomegranate with its hidden depths of ruby red colour and exciting texture. Almost miraculously as a fruit, it lends itself to Moorcroft art, a fact of life which William Moorcroft himself discovered more than a hundred years ago. Although Rachel is renowned the world over for a design style that works the narrow line between Art Nouveau and Arts and Crafts, she has chosen to contain Garnet Apple between Art Deco bands. It is in the name, however, that past history is revealed – a history enveloped in the mysterious mists of time first identified and then captured by the founding father of Moorcroft, becoming in the process perhaps his best-remembered and best-loved design. Garnet Apple joins so much of the history, evolution and style of Moorcroft with the subject matter it embraces to warrant a leading role in the Circles of Life. Without pomegranates, Moorcroft would not have become the artistic institution it is today. It will come as no surprise to learn that Maureen and I have three forty-year-old pomegranate trees in the garden of our new house in France!