John Pierpont “JP” Morgan was one of America’s foremost financiers, bankers and art collectors of his time. He was also the grandfather of Paul Pennoyer, our company founder Cecily’s late husband. With this kind of access to Morgan’s original art pieces, Cecily, with her art history and studio arts backgrounds, felt it was important to preserve the history of many of the oldest and most distinguished designs he had collected throughout his lifetime and devised a remarkable method of casting these lead and ceramic garden objects.
J.P. Morgan’s desire for collecting art was more than just an aesthetic one. His belief in the importance it had played in the evolution of a civilization was also of primary interest to him. Whether it was the Gutenberg bible or the ancient oil jar shapes or cisterns and vessels that were used to capture and transport water, it was recognized by Morgan to be an object of art that was significant to his collection.
The Nile River Vessel, which he collected while traveling throughout the Egyptian passageway, is an example of just that. Pennoyer Newman replicated the hundreds of years old original to make castings in our proprietary materials of marble, rock and resin so that it would last beyond the ages.
The Morgan Lead Pot, as shown here, depicts the Greek Mythology Face of the North Wind blowing north, south, east and west that originally rested on the entry gates of Roundbush, his daughter’s home in Eastern Long Island. You’ll also see castings of the Roundbush Finial, turtle, frog and more throughout our product offerings.
A classic of the highest order is also the original Della Robbia, one we now refer to as the “Morgan Della Robbia” since it was such a significant piece in his collection. As early as 1440, the Florentine sculptor Luca Della Robbia, developed a blue and white overglaze technique that was applied to terra cotta to make it more durable for use on outdoor objects. This important Della Robbia planter was once given on loan by the Pennoyer family as part of The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s display and is still one that Pennoyer Newman makes castings of to this day.
The original Wall Hall Urn, named after J.P. Morgan’s property in Aldenham, England was used on the four corners of his beautiful rose garden. See the 1930s photo of his garden at Wall Hall, England which was also the property where he hosted King George VI.
The Alligator Bird Bath was one that Morgan had carved by artisans commissioned to build St. John’s Church in Lattingtown, New York.
These are just a few examples of many pieces we are so fortunate and so very proud to be able to cast from J.P. Morgan’s art collection as well as other estate-original pieces Cecily has collected over the years from their friends and colleagues -- Clay Frick, Daniel Guggenheim, William Robertson Coe, John Shaffer Phipps, the Forbes family along with many others you will find within our collection.
Our mission at Pennoyer Newman is three-fold: to purvey, protect and preserve not just the design legacies beheld within each garden object we collect, but also the legacy of families and the estates upon which our pieces once adorned.