Guild of Handicraft

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dognose
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Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Fri Feb 05, 2010 10:21 am

Guild of Handicraft

This is one of the more famous names in the world of silversmithing and one that still continues to this very day.

The Guild of Handicraft was started in 1888 by C R Ashbee and this part of that great Arts and Craft movement is the last survivor of Ashbee's vision. C R Ashbee originally set up his 'School of Handicraft' at Toynbee Hall in the East End of London, in 1891 it moved to Essex House on the Mile End Road and in 1898 converted into a limited liability company, opening showrooms at 16a Brook Street and 67a Bond Street in the West End of London.

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1903

In 1902 Ashbee moved the Guild, including some fifty craftsmen covering many trades and their families, lock, stock and barrel, to Chipping Campden in Gloucestershire. The name 'Essex House' was retained and there was great hope for the future of the Guild. Ashbee's great experiment, however, was not a commercial success and in 1908 the company was voluntarily wound up because of its debts.

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1904

This, however was not the end of the Guild. Of all the lines that the former company produced, its metalwork, and especially its silver production, was always the most well received by the public, with this in mind, a group of workers stayed on at Essex House and a new business, still retaining the name Guild of Handicraft was formed, its partners were; George Henry Hart, John Kirsten Baily, George Edward Horwood and William Mark.

This partnership was short lived and lasted just four years and was dissolved at the end of 1912. Undeterred, George Hart soldiered (or soldered) on alone at Essex House. He was granted his Freedom by the Goldsmiths' Company in 1929 and made a Liveryman in 1933. George Hart died on the 21st October 1973.

George Hart ran his business in a special way, everything that came out of his workshop was hand crafted, with the exception of an ancient hand roller, there was no machinery, everything was produced by the skill of his own hands.

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These skills have been passed down from generation to generation, firstly to George's son, Henry, and then to his son, David, who in turn taught his son, William and nephew, Julian along with Derek Elliott. It is these four that work in the business today. The workshops are what can only be described as a time capsule, everthing is just the way it was in George's time.

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Photos courtesy of Andy Taylor

Marks entered at the London Assay Office:

CR above A in shield. Entered 29th January 1896.

G of H Ltd in oblong. Entered 14th December 1900.

G of H in oblong. Entered 22nd July 1908.

G of H in oblong. Entered 5th December 1912.

Link to the website of Hart, Gold & Silversmiths (Guild of Handicraft): http://www.hartsilversmiths.co.uk/html/home.html

Trev.
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dognose
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Postby dognose » Sun Feb 07, 2010 5:13 am

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1903

Trev.
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dognose
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Posts: 40348
Joined: Thu Dec 29, 2005 12:53 pm
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Wed Jan 26, 2011 3:27 pm

Some detail from a Guild of Handicraft catalogue c.1900.

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Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 40348
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Example of the Work of Enid Kelsey

Postby dognose » Mon May 07, 2012 7:31 am

Somewhat of a loose link to the above, but below is an example of the work of Enid Kelsey.

Enid Kelsey was the wife of Cryil Kelsey, who was one of C.R. Ashbee's apprentice silversmiths at the Guild of Handicraft in 1899, and is likely to have had influence on Enid's work. Cyril Kelsey, known as 'the Professor' was one of the very early members of the Guild in it's Whitechapel days and was involved in the move to Chipping Camden, but never worked there, as he chose to leave the Guild to join the army in South Africa just prior to the move in 1901, and is unlikey to have completed his apprenticeship.

Cyril and Enid also wrote the play 'The Stars' that was revived for the Garden Suburb Theatre in london in the 1999/2000 season.

Enid Kelsey entered her marks at the London Assay Office in 1929, her workshop was located at 17 Northway, Temple Fortune, London NW11.

Example of the work of Enid Kelsey:

A set of six spoons assayed at London in 1936, with small hammered bowls, twisted stems and whiplash finials. The spoons are 3¼ inches (8.3cm) in length and have a total weight of 30gms.

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Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 40348
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 20, 2014 9:34 am

Some jewellery designs by C.R. Ashbee, executed by the Guild of Handicraft:


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Guild of Handicraft - London - 1902


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Guild of Handicraft - London - 1902

Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 40348
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Fri Jun 20, 2014 10:34 am

Some more jewellery designs by C.R. Ashbee, executed by the Guild of Handicraft:


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Guild of Handicraft - London - 1902


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Guild of Handicraft - London - 1902

Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 40348
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Tue Jul 08, 2014 1:06 pm

An example of the work of the Guild of Handicraft, a pair of salt cellars with rope twist borders and gilt interiors, 2" (5cm) in height and weighing 262 grams the pair, assayed at London in 2000:

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G of H - London - 2000

Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 40348
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Tue May 22, 2018 3:35 am

An example of work and an early mark of the Guild of Handicraft:

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GofHLtd.

This mark was entered with the London Assay Office on the 14th December 1900.

Trev.

dognose
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:55 am

Jam Dish in Silver:

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Designed by C.R. Ashbee - Executed by the Guild of Handicraft

This image is from 1906.

Trev.

dognose
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Posts: 40348
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Re: Guild of Handicraft

Postby dognose » Thu Oct 24, 2019 4:50 am

Silver Work:

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Designed by W.A. White - Executed by J. Baily and E. Toy, the enamels by F.C. Varley - Members of the Guild of Handicraft.

This image is from 1906.

Trev.


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