Arts and crafts
A rare piece of silver by Charles Creswick, husband of Norah and son of Benjamin, the Birminghm School sculptor.
The famous sculptor and Birmingham School of Art teacher, Benjamin Creswick, had four sons and two daughters. All the sons became metalworkers in silver or jewellery. William Creswick moved from Birmingham to his Devon base in c 1920, whereas two of the younger sons, brothers Charles (1884-1965) and John (called Jack 1881-1934), both moved to Edinburgh in around 1914 (with Charles’ wife, Norah -see below), initially to cast the bronze altar screen for the Marquis of Bute’s chapel at Mount Stuart. In 1916 McDonald & Creswick was established (incorporated 1920, ended 1956). The firm became a substantial architectural bronze and metalworking company within which Charles and Jack were silversmiths, metalworkers, sculptors and bronze founders. Charles was renowned for uniquely specialising in the “cire perdue” (lost wax) process. He also taught at Edinburgh School of Art – see images of an article from the Scotsman, February 1939.
Charles married Sarah Edith Norah Hanman in Birmingham in 1909. Norah was an active silversmith/jeweller in her own right from c 1933 -1965, producing mainly small items like spoons and jewellery, in the arts and crafts tradition in her husband’s studio, having also trained at the Birmingham School of Art. It is interesting to see how different Charles’ style was from Norah’s.
A photo of Charles and Norah dating to c 1910 is shown in images – a very handsome couple with more than a hint of Ben Affleck in Charles!
I am grateful to Annie Creswick Dawson, Norah and Charles’ grand-daughter for her help with this research
Maker: Charles Creswick
Designer: Charles Creswick
Marks: CC, Edinburgh, “l”
Material: Sterling silver
Size: 14.0 cm long
Weight: 19 grams, 0.7 oz each