Antique Christopher Dresser Jugs

The glass jugs have ebony handles and hinged lid. With makers marks and International registration marks. Circa. 1880 English. Hukin and Heath 1878-1883 [Christopher Dresser 1834-1904 by Michael Whiteway Page .99] Additional Reference Dr Christopher Dresser was the first industrial designer, running a studio supplying designs to many different manufacturers in several countries.

The early part of Queen Victoria’s reign was a period of extraordinary change in Britain. Queen Victoria’s husband, Prince Albert, had tried to reform the standards of design to meet the challenges of industrial production methods by establishing the Government Schools of Design, and in 1850 it was decided to hold an International Exhibition in London. The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations was a great success and had over six million visitors in the six months that it was open, but it only emphasized the urgent need for higher standards in industrial design.

Christopher Dresser was trained at the Government Schools of Design, and absorbed the principles of such design pioneers as Owen Jones and A.W.N Pugin. He developed his own language to produce designs more suitable to the materials and processes used in their realization. In 1876-77 he visited Japan to study its arts and industries, and so impressed was he by his observations that his designs were transformed- he came to understand that decoration was not necessary to create beauty and that even the most humble objects deserved to be well designed.

On his return to London he embarked on the most remarkable series of designs of his career, culminating in the foundation of the Art Furnishers’ Alliance in London’s New Bond Street, a store dedicated to the artistic interior. Dresser pioneered the aesthetic ideas that have dominated design over the last 100 years. Michael Whiteway Christopher Dresser 1834-1904.

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