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Lamp

  • Place of origin:

    Birmingham (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1893 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Dixon, Arthur Stansfield (designer)
    Birmingham Guild of Handicraft (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Hand-beaten brass

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Felicity Ashbee

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.277-1961

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

  • Public access description

    Object Type
    This table lamp is assembled from fairly simple brass parts. Four curved stems supporting a dished conical shade are riveted through balls on to a scalloped base. The stems are held together by three rings. A lamp holder is fixed to the highest ring.

    Design & Designing
    This brass lamp was probably designed by Arthur Dixon (1856-1929) and was made by the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft, founded by Dixon in 1890. The plain design and simple construction of this lamp must have seemed 'naked' to most Victorian eyes, but endearingly 'honest' and clear to a fellow Arts and Crafts designer such as C.R. Ashbee (1863-1942). He received the lamp as a wedding present from Dixon in 1895.

    Places
    The first Arts and Crafts metalwork made in Birmingham was produced by the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft. The Guild began by making chased and embossed door furniture. It exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1893. The Guild's finger-plates (pieces of metal fastened to doors to prevent finger marks from spoiling the paint work), lockplates and hinges were generally made from flat pieces of brass, copper and gun metal, cut into crisp ogee (S-shaped) outlines and other designs based on 15th- and 16th-century vernacular door furniture. The Guild's traditionalism and reliance on simple outlines in its designs was guided by the austere hand of Arthur Dixon.

  • Physical description

    This table lamp is assembled from fairly simple brass parts. Four curved stems supporting a dished conical shade are riveted through balls on to a scalloped base. The stems are held together by three rings. A lamp holder is fixed to the highest ring.

  • Dimensions

    Height: 50.5 cm, Width: 33 cm maximum, Depth: 25.8 cm base

  • Object history note

    Probably designed by Arthur Dixon (born in 1856, died in 1929); made at Birmingham Guild of Handicraft

  • Descriptive line

    Hand beaten brass, Birmingham, about 1893, probably made by Arthur Dixon

  • Labels and date

    British Galleries:
    In 1893 A.S. Dixon set up evening classes in Birmingham teaching beaten metalwork and other handicrafts. Two years later this became the Birmingham Guild of Handicraft. The guild was more commercial than the London-based Guild of Handicraft, but it produced work equally simple in form and finish. Dixon gave this lamp as a wedding present to the architect C.R. Ashbee, founder of the Guild of Handicraft. [27/03/2003]

  • Collection code

    Metalwork Collection