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(Code: 3044)
ROBERT CATTERSON-SMITH   Silver SaltsBirmingham 1911

Height: 6.5cm
Comes with the exhibition catalogue

Robert Catterson-Smith (born 1853 in Dublin - died 1938) His father, Stephen Catterson-Smith was a noted portrait painter and president of the Royal Hibernian Academy. Robert had been assistant to William Morris preparing illustrations for the Kelmscott Press, particularly the Edward Burne-Jones series for Chaucer. He produced monochrome illustrations and oil paintings as well being a silversmith. As a member of the Art Worker's Guild (founded 1884) he was commissioned by Phillip Webb (a founder of Morris & Co.) to make a large silver covered cross (now in the V & A Museum).His silver work was shown alongside the Guild of Handicraft and Arthur Dixon at the 4th Arts and Crafts Exhibition in 1893. He taught at the Central School of Arts and Crafts when it opened in London in 1896 under joint heads, sculptor George Frampton and artist-architect W R Lethaby. He moved to Birmingham in 1901 where he taught at the School of Jewellery and Silversmithing before following Edward Taylor as Headmaster of the Birmingham School of Art in 1903 with testimonials from Burne-Jones, Philip Webb, William de Morgan and Walter Crane. He was a popular teacher there until his retirement in 1920. This Arts and Crafts influence on the students, so evident in the subject matter and style of the compositional studies and designs for metalwork, stained and textiles, was strengthened by the lectures given to students by William Holman Hunt (in 1893), William Morris (in 1894) and W. R. Lethaby (in 1901). In 1911 he designed the Kendrick Casket now in the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery. (William Kendrick presented Catterson-Smith with a Birmingham Guild of Handicraft silver box in November 1914 in thanks) He founded The Craftsmen's Club in Birmingham (1902-38) where he believed "the business of craftsmanship is to express emotion" if it ceases to do so will become lifeless, devoid of human feeling, sentiment and romance.('A Forgotten Pre-Raphaelite' Campbell-Wilson 1998)