Knight Family Wedgwood Dinner Service

Three pieces of early 19th century Wedgwood dinner service with Knight family crest
 
Museum Number: CHWJA:JAH393.1-3
 
 
Text by:
Janet Johnstone
Volunteer Stewards Manager, Jane Austen’s House Museum

 

 

On display in the dining parlour are three pieces of an early 19th century Wedgwood dinner service. It belongs to the Knight family, the direct descendants of Edward Knight, Jane Austen’s wealthy brother, who lived at Chawton House. The dinner service was bought by Edward in 1813. Jane mentioned the dinner service being purchased in her letter to her sister Cassandra on 16 September. Jane was staying in London with her brother Henry and she talks about her purchases for Cassandra, then goes on to say “We then went to
Wedgwoods where my brother and Fanny chose a dinner set – I believe the pattern is a small lozenge purple between lines of narrow Gold – and it is to have the crest.” Josiah Wedgwood and Sons had been a leading manufacturer of ceramics since 1759.

 

The Knight coat of arms is made up of lozenges and their crest is a greyfriar. The service has been on display at the Museum since it opened in 1949. It entered as a loan from Edward Knight, the owner of Chawton House at that time. It was then passed to his second son Jeremy and his wife Carol as a wedding present following their
marriage in Australia.


The service is believed to have a twenty piecesetting and part of the service was last used for a dinner to celebrate Jeremy Knight’s 60th
birthday.

Jane Austen's House Museum
An independent museum established in 1947
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