Brian Anthony Asquith (1930 – 2008) British silversmith

Saw by Brian Asquith – 1966

Brian Asquith (1930 – 2008) was one of the principal figures in British silversmithing during the 20th century, now regarded as the industry’s heroic age. In the bleak aftermath of the Second World War, there was a growing perception that the revival of the British manufacturing economy depended on an ever-closer integration with the visual arts. There were exciting opportunities for those who chose to pursue fine art or traditional crafts career. Asquith and other contemporaries such as David Mellor, Gerald Benney and Robert Welch successfully straddled designing for the craft studio and the mass production of consumer goods.

Education

He studied at Sheffield College of Art, 1942-47; studied sculpture, under Frank Dobson and John Skeaping, at the Royal College of Art, London, ARCA, 1951.

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Biography

He was a partner, with David Mellor, metalware and product design workshop and office, Sheffield, 1955-60; established own design office, Sheffield, 1960-63, and Youlgreave, Derbyshire, from 1963; has designed for Redfyre, Spear and Jackson, British Airways, L.B. Plastics, Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths, International Tennis Federation, the Post Office, Baxi Heating, Renold Engineering, the Royal Family, and others.

Fish slice by Brian Asquith
Fish slice by Brian Asquith – V and A

Member

Liveryman of The Goldsmiths Company; Society of Industrial Artists and Designers (fellow, 1965); Royal Society of Art (fellow); Chartered Society of Designers (fellow); Crafts Council.

Exhibitions

  • Hand and Machine, Design Centre, London, 1965;
  • British Goldsmiths, Lincoln Centre, New York, 1968;
  • British Modern Crafts Art Exhibition, Tokyo, Japan, 1970;
  • Brian Asquith Silver, St. Michaels Gallery, Derby Cathedral, 1973 (travelled);
  • Loot, Goldsmiths Hall, London, 1974, 1975, 1976;
  • Silver from Derbyshire, Foyles Gallery, London, 1977;
  • Lichfield Commission, Victoria & Albert Museum, London, 1991;
  • International Gift Show, San Fran- cisco, 1993; 20th Century Silver, Crafts Council, London, 1993;
  • Silver Trust National Collection, Garrard and Co., London, 1994;
  • Silver Trust New York Exhibition, Christie’s, New York, 1995. 

Sources

Pendergast, S. (1997). Contemporary Designers. St. James Press.

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1 Comment

  1. Simon, I am Brian’s Grandson. I have loads of good memories of being at the workshop in Youlgrave. At the time you never appreciate the work, but looking back he made some great items.
    Thanks for the article.

    Regards,

    Dom

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