Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Designer: Omar Ramsden

Omar Ramsden (1873-1939)

English silversmith born in Sheffield. He spent some years in Illinois, USA, before being apprenticed to a firm of silversmiths back in Sheffield. In 1890 he attended evening classes at the Sheffield School of Art where he met Alwyn Charles Elison Carr and then both had summer classes at the Royal College of Art. Ramsden specialised in the design of silver and gold presentation and ceremonial pieces, including plates, wine cups and masers.

His design is associated with Art Nouveau.

They set up a studio together in Chelsea in 1898 and shortly after moved the workshop to Fulham. Ramsden had the public relations flair while Carr provided the financial backing. The partnership was dissolved in 1919. Ramsden had up to 20 assistants working for him during the 1930's but he never worked on a piece himself.
The business continued to flourish and Ramsden developed a distinctive house style that became heavier and more traditional than the fluid Art Nouveau of previous years. He placed more and more emphasis on the hand wrought appearance with each piece being considered a unique creation, the importance being a bespoke object subtly adapted from a proven design.

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