A William Henry Creswick silver spoon

Price: £275

For sale is this silver spoon by William Henry Creswick.  The finial design is of what appears to be a crest with Yorkshire rose.  I have not identified it as a crest but the rose seems to copy that on a monument commemorating Joan Tregarthin (1495-1583)  that is within Branscombe Church – see images.  I have previously had a Creswick spoon with that Church’s finial. See A1293 in the archive.   The spoon is a very good gauge.

It is hallmarked for 1938 (possibly 1913 but Creswick would not know Branscombe at that time).  If dated 1913, then it is an early Creswick piece and shortly after he registered his mark.

William Henry Creswick (1874-1965) was son of the renowned British sculptor Benjamin Creswick.  In the 1891 census at 17 William is described as an “Art Student” (almost certainly at the Birmingham School of Arts or Vittoria Street) and by the 1901 census, when he is 27, he describes himself as an “Art metal craftsman”.  There is no record of his work at this time and he only enters his own assay mark on 10th January 1913, where he gives his occupation as ‘Craftsman’ of 79 Jockey Road Sutton Coldfield.

In a 1916 directory he describes himself as a “wholesale jeweller” which probably explains why his identifiable output at this time seems to have been tiny, based on the paucity of items found in auction records.  His profile perhaps is in part also hidden due to his mark’s regular confusion with WH Collins (Dryad) mark.

In 1921 Creswick moved to ‘Northleigh’ Colyton, Devon and from 1942 his address is given as ‘Studio Deems’, Branscombe, Beer, Devon. No doubt his locality made him  a natural choice for this spoon’s commission. From 1920’s until he retired in the 1950’s Creswick was a teacher of metalwork at Colyton Grammar School.  A copper advertising sign he made, probably dating to around this time, is shown in the images, as is “Studio Deems”.

Creswick registered marks from Studio Deems at the Chester assay office in 1945, describing himself as a an “Artist in gold and silver”.  His later work, which seems more prevalent,  is a mix of modernist and arts and crafts, typically plainer and cleaner lined but still with visible hand hammering. He died in Honiton, Devon in 1965 in a nursing home.

William came from a family of sculptors and metalworkers and his sister in law was Nora Creswick, the Edinburgh silversmith who married his younger brother Charles, also a silversmith .

Maker:  William Henry Creswick

Designer: William Henry Creswick

Date: 1913 or 1938

Marks: WHC, Birmingham, “o”

Material: Sterling silver

Condition: Excellent

Size: Length 16.25 cm

Weight: 49 grams,  1.7 oz

SKU: A1380 Category:

Additional information


Arts and crafts