Art/ Collection/ Art Object

Spoon holder

Designer:
Design attributed to Christopher Dresser (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1834–1904 Mulhouse)
Manufactory:
Hukin & Heath (British, Birmingham, 1855–1953) (London and Birmingham)
Date:
ca. 1878–81
Culture:
British, Birmingham or London
Medium:
Silver-plated brass, ebony
Dimensions:
H. 5 11/16 in. (14.4 cm), L. 6 1/8 in. (15.6 cm)
Classification:
Metalwork-Silverplate
Credit Line:
Purchase, Gift of J. Pierpont Morgan, by exchange, 1988
Accession Number:
1988.164
Not on view
In his long and varied career, Christopher Dresser was an ornamentalist, a lecturer in botany, and a designer of silver, ceramics, glass, furniture, and textile patterns. Like his contemporary William Morris (1834–1896), he believed that it took an artist, not just a craftsman, to create good design. However, unlike Morris, who shunned industrial production, Dresser had his designs manufactured by firms scattered between London and Glasgow. Although this spoon holder has not been traced to a particular design by Dresser, it is typical of the streamlined models produced for him by Hukin & Heath.

Like much of Dresser's output for Hukin & Heath, as well as for Elkington's and James Dixon & Sons, other silversmithing and electroplating firms, the spoon holder (spoon warmer or egg coddler) reflects Dresser's penchant for Japanese metalwork. The simple form with applied legs and feet expresses an economy in manufacture, and the modest material adheres to Dresser's desire to produce well-designed, affordable objects. The straight ebony handle and "crow's feet," elements that Dresser frequently employed, reflect his dependence upon Japanese prototypes for aesthetic direction.
[ Kurland-Zabar , 1988; sold to MMA ]
Related Objects

Pitcher

Artist: Christopher Dresser (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1834–1904 Mulhouse) Date: ca. 1881 Medium: Silver-plate, ivory Accession: 1999.69 On view in:Not on view

"Christy" Sugar Bowl (model CD01 AZ)

Artist: After Christopher Dresser (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1834–1904 Mulhouse) Date: original design 1864, adapted 1993 Medium: Plastic Accession: 2004.433.2 On view in:Not on view

"Christy" Sugar Bowl (model CD01 GR)

Artist: After Christopher Dresser (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1834–1904 Mulhouse) Date: original design 1864, adapted 1993 Medium: Plastic Accession: 2004.433.4 On view in:Not on view

"Christy" Sugar Bowl

Artist: After Christopher Dresser (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1834–1904 Mulhouse) Date: original design 1864, adapted 1993 Medium: Thermoplastic resin Accession: 2004.433.1 On view in:Not on view

"Christy" Sugar Bowl (model CD01 Y)

Artist: After Christopher Dresser (British, Glasgow, Scotland 1834–1904 Mulhouse) Date: original design 1864, adapted 1993 Medium: Plastic Accession: 2004.433.3 On view in:Not on view