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Henry George Murphy – unique genius?

By April 12, 2017News, Uncategorized

H G Murphy silver sugar caster front view

Born in 1884 Henry George Murphy, known as H.G.Murphy, was one of the most influential silversmiths of the Art Deco period.

“Britain’s most creative and imaginative silversmith of the Art Deco era.”

Paul Atterbury and John Benjamin ‘ The Jewellery and Silver of H.G.Murphy’ published 2005.

Biography

He was formally apprenticed to Henry Wilson (himself a jeweller and silversmith of note) in 1899 for six years. Wilson also employed John Paul Cooper and Bernard Instone among others. In 1904 Murphy enrolled at the Central School of Arts and Crafts, which he later became the Principal of (1932). His career was interupted by the First World War as Murphy joined the Royal Naval Air Service and trained as a pilot.
In 1928 H.G.Murphy started the Falcon studios which has its own iconic mark pictured below.

H G Murphy silver and niello bowl marks

Murphy died aged 54 in 1939, in the same year as master silversmith Omar Ramsden.


Influences

H.G.Murphy admired Scandinavian metalwork, particularly the work of Georg Jensen. He also favoured the use of colourful enamels and naturalistic themes particularly trees, flowers and animals.

H G Murphy silver caddy spoon front view

Tree of life caddy spoon by H.G.Murphy available at Marlin Antiques, London 1934.

H G Murphy silver and niello bowl front view

H.G.Murphy silver bowl with niello work galleon, London 1932, also available at Marlin Antiques.

Katy Randles

Author Katy Randles

Katy Randles is the owner of Marlin Antiques.

More posts by Katy Randles

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