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Nutcrackers - 44311

44311

  • Object:

    Nutcrackers

  • Place of origin:

    Bloxwich (made)

  • Date:

    1958 (designed)
    1960-1975 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Robert Welch MBE, RDI (designer)
    J. & J. Wiggin Ltd. (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Stainless steel, cast by the lost wax process, satin finish.

  • Credit Line:

    Given by the manufacturer

  • Museum number:

    CIRC.408-1960

  • Gallery location:

    In Storage

These nutcrackers were specifically designed to be sold in the gift shop of the Orient Line ship, SS Oriana. The SS Oriana was built for the Orient Steam Navigation Company for the Britain - Australia service.

SS Oriana was the last of the Orient Steam Navigation Company's ocean liners. She was built at Vickers-Armstrongs, Barrow-in-Furness, Cumbria, England and launched on 3 November 1959 by Princess Alexandra. Originally resplendent with her owners' traditional corn coloured hull, Oriana appeared as an Orient Line ship until 1966, when that company was fully absorbed into the P&O group. Faced with unprofitable around the world passenger routes, the P&O white hulled Oriana was operated as a full-time cruise ship from 1973. Between 1981 and her retirement from service five years later, Oriana was based at Sydney, Australia, operating to Pacific Ocean and South-East Asian ports. Deemed surplus to P&O's requirements in early 1986, the vessel was sold to become a floating hotel and tourist attraction, first in Japan and later in China. As a result of damage sustained from a severe storm whilst in the port of Dalian in 2004, SS Oriana was finally sold to local breakers in 2005.

Physical description

Nutcracker, stainless steel, satin finish, composed of two arms, pivoted at the top, off centre, wave-like internal contours to hold varying sizes of nuts securely, while its two pointed crests efficiently break their shells.

Place of Origin

Bloxwich (made)

Date

1958 (designed)
1960-1975 (made)

Artist/maker

Robert Welch MBE, RDI (designer)
J. & J. Wiggin Ltd. (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Stainless steel, cast by the lost wax process, satin finish.

Dimensions

Length: 15.5 cm, Width: 5 cm maximum, Depth: 1.0 cm maximum

Object history note

These nutcrackers were specifically designed to be sold in the gift shop of the Orient Line ship, SS Oriana. It became sufficiently popular to be made generally available and was in production until 1975.

This early design was first realized as a brass prototype which was made in Robert Welch's workshop in Chipping Campden. Derret End Lost Wax Casting of Droitwich subsequently developed a production model in 1958 using the lost wax casting technique, notable for the precision it gives to castings. The manufacture was eventually transferred to Old Hall (J.J. Wiggin) in 1961. The design went out of production in 1975.

Historical context note

The SS Oriana was built for the Orient Steam Navigation Company for the Britain - Australia service

Descriptive line

Nutcrackers, stainless steel, made by J.J. Wiggin Ltd. Bloxwich, designed by Robert Welch, RDI., 1958.

Bibliographic References (Citation, Note/Abstract, NAL no)

Charlotte and Peter Fiell, Robert Welch, Design: Craft and Industry, London, Laurence King Publishing, 2015, pp.70-71. ill. ISBN: 9781780676050.

Materials

Stainless steel

Techniques

Lost-wax process

Categories

Metalwork; Tools & Equipment

Production Type

Mass produced

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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