Wedgwood announced that its Brand Ambassador, Lord Piers Anthony Weymouth Wedgwood, died on January 29 at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania from cardiac failure at the age of 59.
Lord Wedgwood was a descendant of Josiah Wedgwood I, the 18th century “father of English pottery.”
“Lord Wedgwood was a true English gentleman,” said Pierre de Villemejane, CEO of WWRD, the holding company of Wedgwood. “The Wedgwood family has lost a passionate visionary, and the world has lost an amazing human being. Those of us who were fortunate enough to know and work with Piers have lost a dear friend and an inspiring mentor.”
Born September 20, 1954, on his family’s farm in Kenya, Piers Wedgwood assumed the Wedgwood legacy at age 16 upon the death of his father in 1970. Above all, it was the Wedgwood ceramic business that was Lord Wedgwood’s passion, according to a company obituary. He started at the firm, based in England’s famed Potteries area of Stoke-on-Trent, in his teens, cleaning the pottery kilns and learning the production methods. It was soon clear however, that his natural charm, enthusiasm and uncanny resemblance to his ancestor Josiah made him the ideal spokesman for Wedgwood, the obituary continued.
Lord Wedgwood went on to devote his working life to the art and industry of English ceramic manufacturing and was very active in the contemporary Wedgwood business helping to open new markets in India, China and Russia. He also served on the board of trustees of the Wedgwood museum. He was overjoyed to see a 255-year legacy of great innovation and design adapt and thrive in the modern age, according to the obituary.
Lord Wedgwood is survived by his wife, Mary, their daughter Alexandra Mary Kavanaugh Wedgwood, and two sisters.
At this time, funeral arrangements have yet to be announced. In lieu of flowers, charitable donations can be made to the Lord Wedgwood Charity (www.lwcharity.com), a non-profit he founded following a heart attack in 2001 with the goal of placing automatic external defibrillators into high schools and communities.