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The Mond Bequest at King's College London: A Celebration

The Mond heirs

Three generations of MondsThree generations of MondsLudwig’s and Frida’s activities as collectors set a pattern for the next generation of the family too.

Their elder son, Robert (1867-1938), an Egyptologist, bequeathed over 250 Egyptian antiquities to the British Museum in 1938.

The younger son, Alfred (1868-1930), ennobled in 1928 as the first Baron Melchett, adorned his own country seat, Melchet Court in Hampshire, with a still more magnificent collection of paintings, antiquities and other objets d’art, some inherited from his parents and Miss Hertz, but many bought with his own fortune.

Alfred Mond with Lloyd GeorgeAlfred Mond with Lloyd GeorgeIt is easy to see how, by comparison both with Ludwig’s paintings and with their own hugely more confident and ambitious efforts, the two statues and Frida’s cherished mementos of Goethe and Schiller could come to seem of small importance, to be found a good home for quickly and elsewhere. But there were to be no more grand gestures of donation, of works of art at least, after Robert’s.

Mond mausoleumMond mausoleumThe great contributions to national and international life of the subsequent generations of the family were to come in different forms: in Sir Alfred’s foundation and chairmanship of ICI, and service as Commissioner of Works and Minister of Health under Lloyd George; in his and his son Henry’s championing of the State of Israel; in Henry’s son Julian’s chairmanship of the newly nationalized British Steel; and in the current (fourth) Baron Melchett’s successive roles as Minister of State for Northern Ireland and Executive Director of Greenpeace.

References:

  • H. Bolitho, Alfred Mond, First Lord Melchett (Secker 1933)
  • J. Goodman, The Mond Legacy (Weidenfeld 1982)
  • E. Strong, Catalogue of the Greek and Roman Antiquities in the Possession of the Right Honourable Lord Melchett (OUP 1928)
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