18th & 19th Century Silversmiths
Our illustrious silver industry has had key silversmiths & designers from the Georgian & Victorian periods who have played an important part in its manifestation. My appreciation as a practising silversmith cannot be measured as their skills are exemplary & can only be admired. Our list will constantly be updated as we add those who have achieved greatness & legacy's that myself & others could only dream of.
- Hester Bateman
- Peter Bateman
- Ann Bateman
- William Bateman (I)
- William Bateman (II)
- Christopher Dresser
- Robert Garrrard
- Archibald Knox
- Paul de Lamerie
- Omar Ramsden
- Paul Storr
Huguenots 16th Century
During the mid–16th century French converts swelled from the Roman Catholicism due to spread of Protestants beliefs from Switzerland. Fierce opposition culminated in a massacre on St Bartholomew's Eve 1572. The religious tolerance for the Protestants in France was insupportable with the Huguenots moving into protestant countries throughout Europe, Approximately 50,000 came to England, residing in Soho, goldsmiths, cabinetmakers with weavers settling in Spitalfields. The success of the craftsman had to be better than there Roman Catholics rivals, There workmanship had to be superb, less expensive & have the ability to be commercial business people. The English craftsman had to raise their skill level to compete, with development in skills such as casting came alive with improvements fundamental. This was the 18th Century launch of illustrious names such as Paul de Lamerie, Philip Rollos, Pierre Platel & Peter Archambo (I). Georgian silversmiths creating standards in silver that would be admired for century's to come.
Hester Bateman 1761–1790
Hester was a female silversmith based in London, an excellent business person. Her work started during the 1760's. The retail sector created a large percentage of her work rather pieces commissioned by her own private clients, occasionally some pieces got over struck by the retailer's hallmarks. Flatware initially was produced with the later development of domestic silverware. Her designs were simple but decorated with engraved & pierced designs, beaded & bright cut work added to create a standard that we all admire as silversmiths. In 1790 Hester Batman retired but the business continued by her two sons Peter & Jonathan. Clients from America find Hester Batman's silver very collectable although she was not the best of the batman family makers, William (II) takes that honour.
Peter & Ann Bateman 1790–1791
Johnathan continued with peter until Johnathan's death in 1791, a short duration after Hester's retirement but had married Ann Downlinff. Due to the unfortunate events Johnathan's widowed wife Ann continued with Peter and registered in 1791 a new mark of Peter & Ann Bateman.
Peter Bateman, Ann Bateman & William (I) Bateman 1799–1805
Johnathan & Ann had bourn a son William, but it wasn't until 1800 that Ann & Peter entered into the partnership with William Bateman
Peter Bateman & William Bateman 1805–1814
During the year of 1805 Ann died with Peter & William registering their new mark until the death of Peter ten years later
William Bateman (I) 1814–1839
William registered his own mark in 1814 alone with his son William (II) registering his mark in 1827
William Bateman (II) 1827–1839
William (II) registered his mark and worked until the 1870s partnering Daniel Ball
Christopher Dresser 1834–1904
19th Century's most Innovative designer saw his career start as a botanist & Doctor of the University of Jena in Germany. He was refused a professorship at London in 1860, this lead him back to designing full time for clients such as Wedgwood, Coalbrook–Dale, Minton & Elkington. Oriental Inspirations encapsulated early silver & pottery designs. He became a buyer for Tiffany's and travelled in 1876 to Japan via America. On his return, abstract designs now influenced the creations to which was said that the art deco styles would in comparison look old hat & derivative. He designed in many derivatives such as brass, copper with designs for glass & textiles. He had the understanding also of machine manufacturing & strove to produce unique & forefront designs that even today would delight the consumer.
Robert Garrard 1735–2014
Robert Garrard behind one of the most prosperous 19th Century goldsmith's establishments in Europe. In 1792 Robert went into partnership with John Wakelin, Georgian period silversmith business that had been created by George Wickes in 1735. Wickes had registered his first makers mark back in 1722. Wicks in 1735 had supplied Fredrick Prince of Wales. Robert Garrard died in 1818 with his three eldest sons inherited the business, Robert, James & Sebastian trading as R. J. & S. Garrard. Robert although not trained as a goldsmith had the desire to succeed as such secured the patronage of the British aristocracy. This was a period of mixed flavours, Rococo, late Baroque & naturalism, put together this was named "Old French"
1843 saw Gerrard's appointed as crown jewellers which they still hold to this day. Their reputation was created by the extravagant silver presentation pieces, showed at important exhibitions of the period. Edmund Cotterill was their most talented sculptor & modeller. Designs include portraits of Queen Victoria's dogs, horses sculptured for cups for horse races such as the Ascot Cup 1842. Other famous items such as the Americas Cup & Arabs fighting in a dessert scene was made by Garrard. In 1852 they merged with the Goldsmiths & Silversmiths Company taking charge of their premises on Regents Street, London but keeping the name Garrard & Co. Today Gerrard's still trade in London.
Archibald Knox 1864–1933
Arts & Crafts silversmith born on the Isle of Man & studied at the Douglas School of Art between 1878 & 1884, studying his lifelong interest in Celtic Art. He moved to London to work for Liberty. His designs include ‘Cymric’ silverware & ‘Tudric’ pewter which he designed between 1899–1900, robust Celtic styles influenced creations. Between 1904–1912 Liberty had textiles, carpets & jewellery designed by Knox. In 1917 the Liberty's founder Arthur Lasenby Liberty died with his tomb being designed by Archibald Knox. His passion also lead him into teaching at Manx schools & schools of art, he died in 1933 & was buried in Bradden Cemetery.
Paul de Lamerie 1688–1751
Paul de Lamerie was baptised in 1688 at s'Hertogen-bosh in the Netherlands. The family, as Huguenots, had fled France following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes in 1685. Paul's father served in the army under William (III) & moved to England. At the age of 15 he worked as an apprentice for seven years under Pierre Platel. The long term apprenticeship suggested he was being prepared to be Platel's successor. He was not a conformist with silver items selling without hallmarks, unpaid fines relating to this activity, some work had also be assayed as his but made by others. He was a talented silversmith with business traits that would profit him handsomely. In 1716 Paul de Lamerie became a Royal Goldsmith while 1717 saw him made a Liveryman of the Goldsmith's Company. Years leading up to the 1730's saw Lamerie work depicting the formal Baroque style which he mastered. The swift change in styles encapsulated the next fashion of English Rococo which he became renowned with slight reserve that it was the result of employing a new designer/modeller. His cliental included the Russian Imperial Court, with English nobility, upper classes & Royal Cliental, he was often referred to as “the Kings Silversmith.” Paul de Lamerie died in 1751 registered Gerrard Street, London. His work today commands some of the highest prices for silver. Prized by collectors & museums, a master of his art.
Omar Ramsden 1873–1939
Born & trained in Sheffield, Omar designed around the style of Art Nouveau. He teamed up with Alwyn Carr in 1898. Their marks were registered jointly. The business was set up in London were they employed silversmiths, engravers, chasers, designers & enamellers. Alwyn Carr was the designer while Omar Ramsden ran the business side very successfully. Their partnership was one of the most successful of the 20th century. Influences in the Celtic Revival with Arts & Crafts being keyed in their manufacturing. Effects such as planishing, (flattering the raising hammer marks on silver), still leaving the undulating surface that is so valued today. In 1919 the partnership was dissolved with Carr still designing. Omar carried on running the workshop but under his new mark of ‘Omar me fecit’. It was said that he never worked on a piece of silver himself.
Paul Storr 1771–1844
One of the foremost silversmiths known to date. Paul Storr was member of the Vintners' Company having been apprenticed to William Rock, said that this was an ‘apprenticeship of convenience’ with Storr actually being taught by a Swedish silversmith Andrew Fogelberg. 1792 saw him freed with his first mark being entered in partnership with William Frisbee, within the year Storr would register his own mark. He moved into workshop of Fogelberg, Church Street, Soho, as it was said Fogelberg had retired to Sweden. As with his initial work, it was predominantly individual by design. His break came in 1797. Designed by Humphrey Repton, commissioned by William Bentinck, Paul Storr made the Portland Gold Font for the Christening of the 3rd Duke of Portland's grandson. This item remained in the family until its acquisition by the British Museum in 1986 for slightly less than £1million. This was to graduate Paul Storr into another level. He developed association with Rundell, Bridge & Rundell, this was of great significance & importance. This relationship created commissions for banqueting plate & centre pieces, design styles in the Neo–Classical style & later in the Neo–Rococo. The silver created always carried the sponsors mark, the silversmith who actually made the item had no recognition in respect to their identification marked on the piece, Storr although worked on the designs of others. High regard designers such as William Theed (II), John Flaxman & Thomas Stothard. His reputation was developed with theses designers, items such as Flaxman's 5ft–high candelabra in the Royal collection & the Theocritus Cup. 1807 saw Paul Storr become a partner with Rundell, Bridge & Rundell. This partnership collapsed in 1819 with Storr leaving due to the constant arguments with Rundell. The future of his work was susceptible due to the merits of the designs left in the partnership, The success was a package, teamwork that required both brilliance in design and workmanship, although Paul Storrs work was still of the highest calibre, the designs became questionable. Storr had accumulated a vast wealth but this was sadly to be lost as he partnered with Mortimer. Mortimer ran their bond shop ineptly. The business survived with Hunt becoming a partner in 1826, Paul Storr retired in 1838 & died on 1844. The business continued as Mortimer & Hunt (1839–1843) Changed in (1843–1897) as it became Hunt & Roskell. (1897–c1965) it was changed to Hunt & Roskell Ltd.