Guild of Handicraft, 'Inkwell', silver, England XXc.

Inkwell, 1907


Charles Ashbee’s design for this small inkwell highlights the rivets rather than hiding them. In essence, it regards the construction and decoration as one. He preferred this to adding applied or carved ornament, which he and many others thought obscured the honesty of the materials and the techniques of making. This ethic infused the London-based Guild of Handicraft, which Ashbee founded in 1888 to craft objects, especially metalwork, for sale through its store. Unfortunately, his idealistic guild was not a financial success; it was swamped by larger commercial concerns such as the department store Liberty’s of London.

Artist Life
English, 1863–1942
Accession Number
Curator Approved

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Guild of Handicraft, 'Inkwell', silver, England XXc.