Sunday, 29 May 2011

Liberty and Co

There is very little I can say about the range of designer items commissioned, made or sold by Liberty's that has not already been written about, blogged or published. They sold quality designer item across the whole range of interior design. They retailed  wallpapers, fabric, furniture, lighting and the ornaments to compliment, whole range for the designer look.

Liberty is heavily associated with the Arts and Crafts and Art Nouveau styles but the Art Deco and Post War design items should not be ignored. This is a vast subject, too large for a single posting. For now I will limited myself to the metalware sold during the 1900 to 1930 period, including Tudric and Cymric ranges of pewter and silver. They employed well respected artists and designer, amongst which are Archibald Knox, Oliver Baker, Jessie Marion King, Rex Silver, Mary Watts, Bernard Cuzner and Fleetwood Varley.

The most commonly encountered Liberty metal ware is the Tudric range of pewter and the most popular designs are the celtic inspired patterns created by the Manx artist Archibald Knox. Here are just a few examples.

 The Tudric range was made for a surprisingly long time, from as early as  1902 right through until the early 1930's. Although by the end the designs were rather plain reflecting the art deco tastes of the period.

 As you can imagine the number of marks used was large. Each design/shape having it's own stamped number and most items had some other marks from as simple as "English Pewter" to the Full stamped picture of a trumpeter. Here are a few variants;

I never did get to the silver - perhaps another posting sometime. To see whether I have any Tudric in stock, click on the metalware tab at the top. Other dealers that will have Liberty items include; Titus Omega, So Nouveau and Morgan Strickland.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

more W A S Benson

I had been reviewing my archive of pictures and found a few more to follow on from my earlier posting about William Arthur Smith Benson. A lot of these are illustrated in the book W A S Benson : Arts And Crafts Luminary And Pioneer Of Modern Design

 And help identify; here are a few more variations of the marks.

Friday, 27 May 2011

Birmingham Guild of Handicraft

Is this arts and crafts copper candlestick by The Birmingham Guild of Handicraft ??

It was unmarked but well made and a stylish design.

Cedric Hodgson - Baron of Rye

Here is a printmaker with two distinct personalities and two names! One his real name Cedric and the other, the self appointed title of "Baron of Rye".

I had seen small scale etchings with a signature which seemed to read I Hodges around the fairs and markets. Some were very appealing, especailly the studies of children and dogs. I never bought them, I had taken a note of the name in the past and had failed to track down this artist.

I can't recall how I got to C Hodgson, it might have been the picture below, as it has a clearer signature in the plate. Once named the research was possible.

He was painter and etcher of landscapes with and the occasional animal or figural study. The works I have seen are either signed C Hodgson or his alias Baron of Rye.He lived in a house call Cambourne in Rye Sussex, where
 ran a printing firm and was an accomplished musician, performing locally. Later in he changed his name to David Baron by deedpole.

The pictures I have seen been either the typical black line etching of landscapes or buildings that were so popular in the inter-wars years or sweet studies of children and dogs. I have seen an etching titled "Poppy Sleeps" of a little girl asleep in her bed with a little toy golly looking down from the window sill. Such a delicate study that I wonder whether Poppy was a member of the family ?

These picture will enlarge if clicked on. The one on the right is a view of his home town Rye.

This was the first etching that I saw that I was drawn to. I have also seen a version with two children on the left, so it is safe to assume that he reworked his plates publishing in several states. The first one I enquired about was at the Kempton Park Antiques Market, years ago, the dealer was asking quite a lot of money for something that on closer examination had been eaten by wood worm ! the best he could say was "it's signed"

I do not know whether he exhibited or where he sold his work. I guess that they sold well enough as they are fairly regularly seen. I found a reference to him whilst googling that led me to "The British Journal of Inebreity" c1933 and within there are the words "Mr Cedric Hodgson, of The Studio, Rye, Sussex, is supplying a charming series of artistic etchings which a specially suited to ....." Sadly it would have cost me £100's to join this service to access the full document and read the full reference and it's context. I don't know whether this was just a general advert or whether he had some special interest in the society. At least we have a date.

Comment from reader and relation of Cedric.

Hi Steven
As I am not very ‘techie’ I cannot work out how to leave a comment on your site. I did leave one - however, I cannot find it now!

I was most interested to see your sketches of Cedric Hodgson/Baron of Rye.

Cedric was my paternal Grandfather. However I never knew him or my Grandmother as my father (Peter Wakefield Baron) was dis-inherited for ‘marrying beneath his station’! My mother was a lowly farm hand’s daughter and they took their disappointment to their graves. This was a terrible shame as Peter was an only child and my father and mother were married for 63 years, until my fathers death in 2001.

I have gathered quite a lot of sketches and etchings of Cedric’s over the years - mostly of architecture. However, I have not come across any of the ones in your gallery, so I am quite excited!

We live in Wiltshire and hope to visit Rye and find Cambourne House, which is where my Father grew up and hopefully find more of his work.

Kind regards
Lynda Tuckwell

Internet references include;

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Art & Crafts - Needlework

This is a little bit different, not in my area of knowledge at all. Needlework !!

A very sweet looking design with a mother and child. 

Does anyone recognise the designer or artist. It has that Scottish arts and crafts feeling to it, possibly Anne Macbeth or is it Leek School.

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

Arts & Crafts - Copper Vase

Today's little tester is .................... a very fine arts and crafts copper two handle vase decorated with a repousse pattern on stylised seed pods and leaves. But by who ??

We have all seen these about but as they are unmarked they usually unattributed. Never cheap though. 

Who made this ?? some of the usual culprits can be excluded. Unlikely to be John Pearson, Newlyn or Keswick. Possibly Yattendon or Five Mile Town. Does anyone recognise this work ?

Scottish Painted Pottery

As a result of the research for my posting on Agnes Bain Herbert I was reminded of the beauty of some of these wares. (some are crude as well). What happens next! yes, I find this small coffee cup decorated by another Scottish artist, Elizabeth Mary Watt,

This has prompted me to go back though my picture archive and introduce you to a few names that may be unfamiliar.

Identifying some of these is tricky as many of the artist decorated bought on blanks, often German, so mis-attribution can be common.

Elizabeth Mary Watt

Bough Pottery

Mary A Ramsey


Agnes Bain Herbert

May Wilson

There are many more artist and decorator that fall within this area of collecting. Sadly I don't have any pictures for you. Other names include; Jessie Marion King, Mary Fairgrieve, William Miles Johnston, Anne Macbeth, Mak'Merry and Zoo Ware. I will probably return to this subject with more information and details of signatures to look out for.

Artist Dates Location MarksLink
Blank, Lady Eva 
Methvens Fife MAL in banner Click Here
Bough Pottery

Printed Bough Click Here
Fairgrieve, Mary

Click Here
Herbert, Agnes Bains 1875-1956
Monogram Click Here
Johnstone, William Miles

Monogram, Zoo Click Here
King, Jessie Marion

Click Here

Click Here

Click Here
MacBeth, Anne

Click Here

Click Here
Ramsey, Mary
Strathyre Cat and/or Name Click Here
Watson, Dolly

DW LEAF Click Here
Watts, Elizabeth Mary

EMW monogram Click Here
Wilson, May

MW monogram Click Here

Click Here

Zoo Click Here

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To confuse us even more, there are hundreds of hobby decorators, as painting china was a popular pastime in the 1950's and the present day.

Mystery Monograms - Help Required
Artist Dates Location MarksLink

EMD                           c1926                                                             Click Here

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