Court Barn Museum in Chipping Campden has selected a piece of silver as it’s offering for the BBC and British Museum project: A History of the World.
Court Barn Museum Ashbee bowlThis two handled dish was designed in 1902-3 by architect and designer Charles Robert Ashbee. In 1888 Ashbee established craft workshops called the Guild of Handicraft in East London – craft as an alternative to factory work. In 1902 he moved the workshops to Chipping Campden, hoping for a better life for his craftsmen. The Guild itself went into liquidation in 1908, but Ashbee’s bold gesture transformed the history of the town, for it brought the Arts and Crafts movement to Chipping Campden.
Loop-handled dishes are among Ashbee’s most celebrated designs. He chose to work with a few simple elements; such as plain hammered silver, coloured stones set sparingly and fluent wirework. As compositions in design, the dishes exemplify the refined and restrained ornament that is a hallmark of arts and crafts style, as well as a precursor of early twentieth-century modernism.
The museum also has on display other pieces by Ashbee including a pendant brooch in silver, gold diamonds, abalone and semi-precious stones, c1900. (Accepted in lieu of tax by H. M. Government and allocated to the Guild of Handicraft Trust, 2008) and a fruit stand or ‘tazza’ 1903-04.
2010 saw the launch of A History of the World, a public service partnership between the British Museum and BBC to tell a story of humanity through manmade objects. In addition to the BBC Radio 4 programme the project has included an online resource, where other museums and members of the public can upload their own objects and associated stories to create an online museum. There are now over 450 partner museums involved in the project, 100 more since it launched.
Court Barn museum opening times:
Open April – September:
Tuesday – Saturday 10.30 – 5.30 Sunday 11.30 – 5.30
Open October – March:
Tuesday – Saturday 11.00 – 4.00 Sunday 11.30 – 4.00
Mondays (except Bank Holidays) 24 Dec until 1 Jan inclusive
Court Barn Museum
Church Street, Chipping Campden, Gloucestershire GL55 6JE
Source: Court Barn Museum Chipping Campden