Arts and crafts
For sale is this lovely small silver covered bowl by William Henry Creswick. The bowl is classically hand hammered with fine planishing and with a finial that is in an unusual abstract design. It is a good gauge, very nice “in the hand”. The lid has a wavy or so called pie-crust edge. The piece is fully assayed for Chester 1949 with very crisp full marks to the base bowl, and (rubbed) part marks to the lid.
The bowl is in excellent condition. There is some fire stain to the lid (the silver appears a different colour where impurities in the silver have reached the surface, usually due to uneven heating or polishing). This is relatively common with arts and crafts metalwork.
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 little record of his work at this time asides a wonderful jug now in the Collection’s archive at this link. Creswick 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. All these attributes are captured in this piece. Creswick 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
Marks: WHC, Chester, “y”
Material: Sterling silver
Condition: Excellent. See description.
Size: Length 10.75 cm diameter, 6.25cm high
Weight: 184 grams, 6.5 oz