Sunday, 31 July 2011

H is for Holmes

To continue my alphabet of British Arts and Crafts metalware - H is for Harold Holmes.

We have all seen arts and crafts copper and brass items from the workshop of Hugh Wallis and many of you would have picked up similar items marked "Harold Holmes" but who was he ??



The works I have seen have all been made from copper with rolled and chased edges usually decorated with a chased and tinned central design. These would, like Wallis items, originally had a chocolate coloured patination. Here are a few examples that have been polished.


The only information that I have been able to trace has been that he was a former apprentice to Hugh Wallis and that he died in the 1970's. I would date these item to post 1945 after Hugh had died. More information please.


Internet references and items to buy;
http://www.redhouseantiques.co.uk/view.php?id=as179a216&n=View_All&ln=Antiques
http://www.oldcopper.org/hugh_wallis.htm
http://www.christies.com/LotFinder/lot_details.aspx?intObjectID=4281617

Thursday, 28 July 2011

G is for Glasgow

To continue my alphabet of British Arts and Crafts metalware - G is for the Glasgow School of Art.

An internationally renown art college with buildings designed by Charles Rennie Mackintosh. Associated with the "Glasgow Boys" and "Glasgow Girls". Some art metal work was produced but is unmarked. For the purposes of  this posting I am interested in the Glasgow style as applied to arts and crafts metal ware.





Item made by the likes of Marion Henderson Wilson and Margaret Gilmour are typical of the style. The style is now very familiar to us as the motifs are still very popular. Typical element in the designs include, stylised roses, long thin stems, symmetrical foliate pattern, celtic knots and art nouveau girls staring mistily in to space.

Most items are made from brass with some copper and pewter. I have wondered why the artisans of English arts and crafts movement 
preferred to work in copper, whilst there Scottish contemporaries preferred brass ! 




Internet references include;
http://www.acfc.co.uk/2007_Patch_Rogers/08lx_9m.shtml
http://collections.glasgowmuseums.com/starobject.html?oid=207142
http://glasgowrose.com/insidepix.htm

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

F is for Fearncombe

To continue my alphabet of British Arts and Crafts metalware - F is for Henry Fearncombe & Co Ltd.

Continuing this A-Z we move on to F and  Henry Fearncombe of the Phoenix Works, Wolverhampton. This firms contribution to British art metal ware is their association with the designs of Dr Christopher Dresser. They were established as Japanners as early as 1829 and continued c1902.


Typical mark and product.

For a comprehensive history of this firm and better photos of their products, try -
http://www.localhistory.scit.wlv.ac.uk/Museum/metalware/fearncombe/fearncombe01.htm

Updated postings

I have updated a few of my earlier postings with new information and pictures by fellow reader. Please click on the titles to view the postings.

Elizabeth Field - Woodcut Artist
Ivy Anne Ellis - Woodcut artist

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Mystery Print #3

Another print from my archive and another mystery.



This had such a naive charm about it that I had to have it.  It always looked like an amateur effort and was not surprised that I was able to trace any details about the artist. The general feel of the picture would suggest a 1930's date and the price of one guinea is almost the standard price seen on small works from this period.

But who was Miss Lydia Pickering and what was the WIAC ?

At the time I guessed that WIAC stood for the Womens Institute Art Club but could not find any certain evidence to confirm that. However the artist remains a mystery, her address, Te Whare, Groombridge do not seem to exist any more as it fails to come up on any director searches.

Any comments ?

Sunday, 3 July 2011

E is for Edwards

E is for Charles Edwards.
He was a silversmith working c1900 in the arts and crafts style. His CE hallmark was registered at the London Assay office. The work bearing this mark  often has a hammered finish on slight art nouveau style shapes. 





I was going to choose Walter Charles Edwards (1871-1956) a Cotswold Guild metalworker. But failed to find any suitable pictures - next times perhaps.

Saturday, 2 July 2011

Frank Martin - Hollywood Fantasy

If you have read my early postings about the artist Frank Martin you may be interested in this. It is an original water colour painting of girls playing by a pool. Although untitled one could have fun creating a name for this fantasy pool scene and can you name the actresses ??



My guesses are - From left to right 
Corrine Griffiths, ?, Betty Grable, ?, Rita Hayworth, ?, Jean Harlow, Josephine Baker, Linda Darnell. 

For a closer look click of the pictures below to enlarge them.


This is for sale and we will be exhibiting it at the West Point Antiques Fair, Exeter on the 9th and 10th July 2011. We also have other watercolours, prints and etchings by this artist. See - www.meridiangallery.co.uk. Some examples are shown below.




Mystery Print #2

I bought and sold this picture some time ago without ever being able to attribute it to an artist. If I recall correctly it came in a folio of mainly unsigned wood block prints that included a signed Arthur Rigden Read floral still life. This picture was different from the other and almost certainly not by the same artist.


What type of print ? you may ask ?

I was not quite sure. The colours were laid down quite thickly so probably not a relief print technqiue like linocut or woodblock. Possibly some early type of screen print but most likely a pochoir type proccess of colours being hand painted through stencils to build up the image.

Does any recognise it ? or seen a signed example.

Breaking News - Gerrie the Linosaurus has put forward a suggestion as probably by Alfred Casson (1898-1992, Canadian, group of 7) who was know for his Serigraph prints.  It possibly is a serigraph, which, if I am correct is a silkscreen print method.

Friday, 1 July 2011

Art Deco - Redhill Odeon

Today - well actually yesterday I stopped in Redhill, Surrey to see what lasting evidence I could find relating to Art Deco architecture. I picked Redhill town centre for 2 reasons; firstly I knew of at least one iconic deco building and secondly it is the type of town centre that seems to be in a continual state of renewal. So I thought that at some point new buildings would have been put up in the 1920's and 30's. Unlike the nearby town of Reigate which has a core of Georgian frontages or later one trying to look period.

I think the continual renewal of Redhill's town centre has erased most evidence of all periods. The earliest property is probably an 1850's chapel with some grander brick built banks, a pub and shop/office parade from the 1900/10 period. The remainder is from the 1970's to currently being built, even many of the 70's ones have come down. Only time will tell whether any will remain.

Back to the Art Deco.

The first an easily the most memorable building in Redhill is -----


























---- the old Odeon cinema, "The Embassy" opposite the station, everyone knows it as you have to stop by it as there is a roundabout next to it. If you were asked to describe an example of British art deco building, this is it. Clean lines, a big bold Cruise Liner look with portholes. It is never going to feature in the worlds top 100 buildings but for Redhill it is as good as it gets. I like the vertical sign to the left.


Built in 1938 for Odeon Cinemas as The Embassy, it was designed by the Scottish architect Andrew Mather (1891-1938). Andrew Mather was a London based architect who specilised in cinema design, mainly for Odeon. Although it is probable that his assistant Thomas Braddock was responsible for the design of the cinemas. 

It recorded that Mather designed at least 44 cinemas during the 1930's including in Lewes, Guildford, Brighton and at least 18 in London; of which only 7 are still open. 


Guildford is to the left.



Redhill Odeon has been a nightclub since the 1970's and I remember (or not quite remember) quite a few times spent dancing the night away followed by a kebab from a van in the car park across the road !! when it was Millionaires and Busby's. Most recently it has been called Liquid and Envy and it closed down last week ! I wonder what will happen to the building. I think it is listed, I hope so.

Redhill's other art deco architecture is scarce. I thought there might be the odd shop front or even door handle but no, the only other building is the old Post Office. A fairly plain well built brick institutional structure with decorative metal grills above the doors. They seem to have an Egyptian influence, a typical art deco source.





NEW Development SEE my latest post.
http://meridiangallery.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/the-odeon-survives-but-only-just.html

Internet references;
http://cinematreasures.org/architects/77?page=1