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Project summary

The Fitzwilliam Museum holds stunning examples of jewellery and metalwork from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The collection contains jewellery by some of the finest historicist designers, including the Castellani and Giuliano families and John Brogden, as well as a spectacular decanter by William Burges. There are important pieces of jewellery and silver by the most famous of Arts & Crafts designers, including C.R. Ashbee, Henry Wilson, Gilbert Marks and John Paul Cooper. Unique pieces designed by the artist Charles Ricketts hold a special place in the history of queer art in Britain, having been designed for his friends Katherine Bradley and Edith Cooper, a couple known collectively as Michael Field. Modernist silver is represented by leaders of the field Omar Ramsden and H.G. Murphy.




The Helper’ (1903), enamelled pendant by Phoebe Traquair

Exhibition and catalogue

Research into this part of the collection, carried out by Research Assistant Helen Ritchie, culminated in an exhibition (31 July-11 November 2018) and a publication of the same name. This volume, published by Philip Wilson Publishers and sponsored by Wartski, reproduces 70 of the Museum’s most important pieces from this period, many previously unpublished, with comparative illustrations of some of the original designs. The book is arranged chronologically by designer and includes biographies, a description of their work and how it changed over time, as well as commentary about the specific works in the Museum’s collection. This book brings together for the first time the Fitzwilliam’s exceptionally fine holdings of jewellery and metalwork from this highly popular and fruitful period of design.













Friday, 5 August, 2016