Edward Spenser (1872 – 1938) British metalworker

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High carat gold pendant necklace attributed to Edward Spencer
High-carat gold pendant necklace attributed to Edward Spencer

Edward Spenser (1872 – 1938) was a British metalworker, silversmith, and jeweller. He was professionally active in London. Spenser’s work was highly sought after by the wealthy elite of London, who commissioned him to create bespoke pieces of jewellery and silverware. His designs were characterized by their intricate patterns, delicate filigree work, and use of precious stones such as diamonds, emeralds, and sapphires. Spenser’s reputation as a master craftsman grew rapidly, and he soon became one of the most respected silversmiths in the city. His legacy lives on today through his stunning creations, which continue to be admired for their beauty and craftsmanship.

Biography

A silver, gold and green jade bracelet from The Artificers Guild. Attributed to Edward Spencer.
A silver, gold and green jade bracelet from The Artificers Guild. Attributed to Edward Spencer.

Spencer was a junior designer at the Artificers’ Guild. When Montague Fordham took over the Guild in 1903, Spenser became chief designer. He designed silver objects with applied shagreen, mother-of-pearl, wood, coconut, and ivory. Its visible hammer marks emphasized the craft aspect of his work. Part of the success of the Artificers’ Guild was due to Spenser’s designs, which kept up with the times. In 1905, he founded the short-lived Guild of St. Michael. 

Recognition

He showed his work regularly at the Arts and Crafts Society exhibitions and the Artificers’ Guild in London. 

Sources

Byars, M., & Riley, T. (2004). The design encyclopedia. Laurence King Publishing.

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