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The Sacred gift of Sagana Lodge By Catherine Gage

Posted on - 24th February 2022
Countryfile Live Oxfordshire

As we consider Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as the longest serving female monarch in world history, the video created for Moorcroft’s Sagana Lodge from The Succession Collection for the Platinum Jubilee offers feelings of jubilation against the Kenyan backtrack of drums and song, and wash us away into the sheer depth of this Moorcroft design. The incredible vibrancy of glaze colour, the design imagery and the wispy, humble bungalow seated under the shadow of Mount Kenya is without doubt an artistic masterpiece. In Sagana Lodge, history comes alive with the rich colours of HRH Queen Elizabeth II’s platinum reign and it is through the vessel of the natural world that we celebrate her legacy.

The former royal residence of the British monarchy, Sagana Lodge, was, according to The Telegraph, among the 2,500 gifts that the people of Kenya gave to Queen Elizabeth II as a leased wedding present, when she married Prince Philip at Westminster Abbey on November 20, 1947. The Queen handed the lodge back to the Kenyan government in December 1963 when the country became independent. Over the years, the cottage has witnessed power changing hands and holds within its walls Kenya's deepest secrets.  Nevertheless, beyond the state rooms there is a garden of exceptional beauty, where fig-trees; lilac-breasted roller birds and forest king butterflies adorn a journey towards the Sagana River as it flows with other rivers towards the Tana River. Interestingly, the Tana River is an arc formation which straddles about 805 km from central Kenya to the south and the Indian Ocean.

Photograph of painting of Sagana Lodge, Robert Lewis McLellan-Sim NRIAD, Art Master of the Prince of Wales School 1947-63

In the Moorcroft design we can see the Sagana River meander down among pineapple palms, its waters cooling and irrigating the lush gardens. By observing nature, Emma Bossons FRSA has taken us into a most sacred place, and allowed us to witness for ourselves the sheer beauty of a flourishing natural world. The Lilac-Breasted Roller Bird - the national bird of both Kenya, flutters into the design with great symbolism. Considered to be one of the most beautiful birds in existence, its flight through Moorcroft glaze alchemy is unprecedented in depth of colour. With incredible skill of application, the Moorcroft artists plough through a plumage from ochre flax, and dusky-pink lavender to further field marks of electric-blue and fox-red, and all complete with a turquoise flank and long, tail streamers in a celebration of true beauty. In truth, this living rainbow within our world encapsulates precious truths as she nestles in roses fused with orange (for admiration) and pink (for love) and holds a poignant reminder to us all today of the things we must all cherish.