Liss Llewellyn Fine Art - 20th Century British Art

Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956)   BIOGRAPHY

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Unique Sample Plate for Ashtead Potters Plate (abstract), c 1930
Framed (ref: 2274)
Marks: Ashtead Potters stamp with hand painted additions: ‘P/13’ and ‘W’
Ashtead Potters plate, hand painted, diameter: 9 5/8 in. (24.5 cm.)


Provenance: Edgar Peacock; Edgar Horns, Eastbourne, 20 September 2000
Exhibited: Frank Brangwyn, Leeds, Bruges, Swansea, 2006 
Literature: Horner, Dr. Libby, Frank Brangwyn, A Mission to Decorate Life, Liss Fine Art, 2006, p. 170-181

Brangwyn was passionate about ceramics – he collected examples of Persian, Chinese, Korean and Japanese ware and such items appear endlessly in his oils, watercolours and murals.  Sheets of designs -  discovered in the collection of Edgar Peacock, in 2004 - have greatly added to the knowledge of what Brangwyn produced and for who.  His commercial deisgns were mostly for Royal Doulton, bu talso for Foley pottery, A J Wilkinson and Ashtead Potters.Brangwyn stipulated that the Royal Doulton ware should be reasonably priced, have the appearance of hand thrown pottery, and that the painters should be allowed a certain freedom of expression, resulting in every item being slightly different. In addition to the Royal Doulton trademark each item bore the legend ‘Designed by Frank Brangwyn RA’and/or ‘Brangwyn Ware’. Brangwyn also produced designs for Ashtead Potters and Iris tableware for Clarice Cliff’s Bizarre range at A J Wilkinson.  Brangwyn also produced designs for ceramic tiles

Frank Brangwyn (1867-1956)

Frank Brangwyn was born in Bruges, Belgium, the son of an English father and Welsh mother. The family returned to London in 1874, Brangwyn's father gaining work as a designer of buildings, embroideries and furniture. Although Brangwyn appears to have had little formal education, whether academic or artistic, his earliest mentors were three of the most influential men in design at the turn of the century: Arthur Heygate Mackmurdo, William Morris and Siegfried Bing. Between 1884 and 1887 Brangwyn travelled to Kent, Cornwall and Devon, before venturing further with trips to Turkey in 1888, South Africa in 1891, Spain in 1892 and Morocco in 1893. Brangwyn was an independent artist, an experimenter and innovator, capable of working on both large and small scale projects, ranging from murals, oil paintings, watercolours, etchings, woodcuts and lithographs to designs for architecture, interiors, stained glass, furniture, carpets, ceramics and jewellery, as well as book illustrations, bookplates and commercial posters. It is estimated that he produced over 12,000 works during his lifetime. Mural commissions included the Worshipful Company of Skinners, London (1902-09), St Aidan's church, Leeds (1908-16), Manitoba Legislative Building, Winnipeg, Canada (1918-21), Christ's Hospital, Horsham (1912-23), State Capitol, Jefferson City, USA (1915-25), the British Empire panels, Swansea (1925-32), and Rockefeller Center, New York (1930-34). Brangwyn married Lucy Ray in 1896 and took on the lease of Temple Lodge, Hammersmith, in 1900. In 1918 the artist purchased The Jointure, Ditchling, where he spent most of his time following his wife's death in 1924. Elected RA in 1919, knighted in 1924, holder of countless artistic awards, Brangwyn was modest about his singular achievements, regarding art as an occupation and describing himself as a designer.

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