English Art & Crafts metalware pewter, silver & gold

January 12, 2021

English Art & Crafts metalware pewter, silver & gold

Liberty are probably the best known English manufacturers of pewter art & crafts, they employed various well know artist such as Archibald Knox or William Heir Hassler, their skill was in applying enamel to pewter, and silver both metals known not to have good adhesion when it came to enamel, unlike copper, using their trademark iridescent purple and turquoise enamel. So both these 2 designers made for Liberty in London, both in silver & pewter.

Tudric was the trade name of more mass produced pewter and Cymric on sterling silver. Thus making Liberty's good available to a broader spectrum of the buying classes. Liberty tended unlike Benson to go for more frivolous items, so Photo frames jewellery, candlesticks jars etc than the more utilitarian items like Benson did, such as lighting and kettles etc.

So Liberty's made a lot of silver & enamel jewellery, as did Murrle Bennett & Child & Child who tended to use enamel precious stones and gold, mostly based in the London area.

Originally the art and crafts movement drew its inspiration from a desire to return to simpler life with organic lines and natural materials people like Charles Ashbee and Omar Ramsden both working in London drew inspiration from church goblets and medieval jewel encrusted items, but unlike the former mentioned designers tended to do one off hand wrought items often incorporating glass and other materials.

So Birmingham got in on the act too with artist such as Charles Horner, James Fenton, John Atkins & sons etc, again using enamel and silver, and occasional gold but more on the mass produced basis for the mass middle class market. Charles Horner even making specially designed items for the USA market for export.

Of course Scotland had many artists and designers too, i'll go into these another day as I will W.M.F. too.

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