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Author Topic:   Hukin & Heath / Dresser

Posts: 116
Registered: Sep 2004

iconnumber posted 04-11-2005 05:08 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Waylander     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hello all

I was recently given a wonderful sugar sifter by my better half for my birthday. I'm at work, so the piece is not in front of me, but it's got the traditional H & H mark of Hukin and Heath. Interestingly, it's also from the period when Dresser was designing (for example, it is marked with the Queens head).

Now the questions (please forgive my lack of experience):

a) who was Charles Dresser?
b) is there any book or collection of books on pieces designed by him
c) (if the moderators will let this question through....) - are pieces by him that much more valuable than other "un Dresser pieces" and if so, why?

I will endevour this week to put a picture of my present up; it is a delighful piece.

Thanks in advance all


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Silver Lyon

Posts: 363
Registered: Oct 2004

iconnumber posted 04-11-2005 05:41 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Silver Lyon     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What a lot of Questions!
Was probably THE MOST IMPORTANT designer when it comes to applied arts, of the c.19th.
He trained as an architect and made a point of travelling, including Turkey, Persia and even Japan. He even, I believe, spent a little time with Tiffany & Co.
His design studio produced designs for many manufacturers including Minton (pots); Coalbrookdale (cast iron); James Dixon, Elkington & Co., and Hukin & Heath (silver and electroplate); Benham & Froud (copper & brass.
There is plenty of literature - I don't know of one book that is better than the others (some other members might).
Just because your piece is H&H DOES NOT make it Dresser - they adapted and produced pastiches of many of his designs as well as producing the unadulterated object.
In my view H&H are always a good thing - there is still much to be discovered about them and their other designers (as well as more abouth Dresser's later contributions).
Hope this helps smile

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William Hood

Posts: 271
Registered: Apr 2000

iconnumber posted 04-11-2005 11:36 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for William Hood     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Two useful books about Christopher Dresser that include many illustrations of his designs:

1) Stuart Durant, Christopher Dresser (Academy Editions/Ernst & Sohn, London, 1993).

2) Michael Whiteway, Christopher Dresser 1834-1904 (Skira, Turin, 2001).

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Posts: 653
Registered: Jul 2003

iconnumber posted 04-12-2005 09:20 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for doc     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I also noticed in the Events and Exhibitions forum that there was a Dresser exhibit in 2004 at the Victoria & Albert Museum, and that there was a catalog to go with it. You might want to check that Forum listing as well.

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Patrick Vyvyan

Posts: 640
Registered: May 2003

iconnumber posted 04-12-2005 09:30 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Patrick Vyvyan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Another useful introduction to Dresser is:

Chritopher Dresser - Pioneer of Modern Design
by Widar Halén,
Phaidon, London, 1990, ISBN 0 7148 2952 8

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