Arts & Crafts

The Arts and Crafts movement flourished between about 1880 and 1920. Traditional craftsmanship used simple forms and often used medieval, romantic, or folk styles of decoration. It advocated economic and social reform and was essentially anti-industrial. In Scotland, Glasgow-born designer Christopher Dresser was a pivotal figure in the Aesthetic Movement which influenced many Arts & Crafts designers. The Arts and Crafts movement was inspired by the ideas of architect Augustus Pugin (A. W. N. Pugin), writer John Ruskin, and designer William Morris.

Pugin Bread Tray for Minton. c.1850

Christopher Dresser  blue and white Cranes jug for Minton. c.1875

The London department store Liberty & Co., founded in 1875, was a prominent retailer of goods in the style of the Arts and Crafts movement.

Liberty & Co Tudric pewter butter dish with green liner.  Archibald Knox design from early 1900s

David Veasey for Liberty & Co. Tudric pewter and Powell glass claret jug, model 0265, c.1905

Liberty & Co Cymric Archibald Knox design from early 1902

The jewellery business of Murrle Bennett opened in London in 1884 as 'manufacturers and importers of British and Foreign jewellery'. Dorrie Nossiter was an English jeweller from Birmingham and crafted precious jewellery of her own designs in the English Arts and Crafts tradition during the 1930s.

Murrle Bennett turquoise, pearl gold necklace c.1900

Murrle Bennett turquoise gold bracelet. c.1910

Moonstone and garnet silver pin by Dorrie Nossiter. c.1930

There is quite an overlap between works described as Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau. Some Arts & Crafts producers, such as Deakin & Francis, who started in business in 1786 and are England’s oldest family jeweller, are still going strong today.

Silver porringer by Samuel Walton Smith. 1899

Victorian silver coal scuttle by Deakin and Francis. 5.3cm high.1891

Silver and enamel photograph frame by Deakin & Francis. 24.5cm high. 1904

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