WADDESDON MANOR – 1

Waddesdon Manor, near Aylesbury, is a veritable treasure house of paintings, furniture, ceramics, and objets d’art, particularly from the French 18th century. Each year they have special exhibitions which can be drawn either from the collections or are of a more contemporary nature. This year is particularly fruitful so I thought I would share three elements of them with you over the coming days.

 

Predators and Prey: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel, until 2nd November

The Lod floor mosaic, late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.  Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

The Lod floor mosaic, late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.
Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

This really exciting Roman mosaic pavement forms the centrepiece of a very special exhibition in the Stables Coach House at Waddesdon Manor.

The Lod floor mosaic (detail), late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.  Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

The Lod floor mosaic (detail), late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.
Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

In 1996 a discovery was made in the Israeli city of Lod (known as Lydda in Ancient Times) of a series of Roman Mosaic floors but they were not actually excavated until 2009. The largest floor of this group has been on a loan tour of various European and US Museums and now can be seen at Waddesdon. As the images suggest there is an element of humour and wit in the depiction of the subject matter. It is so worth seeing.

The Lod floor mosaic (detail), late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.  Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

The Lod floor mosaic (detail), late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.
Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

What makes this find so significant is that Lod has been occupied since antiquity but with so far relatively little excavation work no one knows what further treasures may await.

The Lod floor mosaic (detail), late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority. Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

The Lod floor mosaic (detail), late third C.E., Israel Antiquities Authority.
Photo: © Israel Antiquities Authority / Nicky Davidov

To set the mosaic in context a group of contemporary and other relevant objects have been lent by the British Museum to give a wider background to the items from Lod. Material from the Waddesdon archive and collection also shows the family’s long interest in similar archaeological projects in that area.

 

As you can see below the mosaic has provided the inspiration for this year’s carpet bedding of the Parterre.

 Carpet Bedding, South Front, ©National Trust, Waddesdon Manor.

Carpet Bedding, South Front, ©National Trust, Waddesdon Manor

(The Lod Mosaic is on loan from the Israel Antiquities Authority and the Shelby White and Leon Levy Lod Mosaic Centre.)

www.waddesdon.org.uk

 

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