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Christening bowl
  • Christening bowl
    Ramsden, Omar, born 1873 - died 1939
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Christening bowl

  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    1911-1912 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Ramsden, Omar, born 1873 - died 1939 (maker)
    Carr, Alwyn Charles Ellison, born 1872 - died 1940 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Silver, chased and cast

  • Credit Line:

    Given by Carol M. Vinson

  • Museum number:

    M.19-1973

  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 125b, case 1

Object Type
The christening ceremony acknowledged a child's acceptance into the Christian Church. This gift of a bowl and spoon to Carol Vinson by her grandmother was the first of three christening presents over three years. In 1912 the child received a silver goblet, and in 1913 a child's cutlery set of a knife, fork and spoon. All these pieces were made by Omar Ramsden (1873-1939) and Alwyn Carr (1872-1940).

Design & Designing
The shape of the bowl is adapted from the traditional form of a Scottish 'quaich'. A quaich, derived from the Gaelic word for cup, cuach, was originally a shallow, two-handled drinking vessel carved from solid wood. Omar Ramsden became particularly interested in adapting medieval prototypes and reinterpreting them in an Arts and Crafts style. This interest in historic silver had been kindled by the antiquary St John Hope, whom Ramsden met early in his career.

People
Omar Ramsden trained as a designer and silversmith at the Sheffield School of Art, Yorkshire, but spent his entire working career in London. He set up in partnership with Alwyn Carr, a fellow graduate, in 1899. When Carr returned from World War I in 1918 he left the partnership, and Ramsden managed the workshop and studio alone until his death in 1939.

Physical description

Silver, shallow bowl with moulded rim extending to two handles with a chased motif of crossed thistles; low turned with roll moulding. The bowl has been left with the hammer nmarks showing. The design of the piece inspired by the traditional, Scottish, quaich.

Place of Origin

London (made)

Date

1911-1912 (made)

Artist/maker

Ramsden, Omar, born 1873 - died 1939 (maker)
Carr, Alwyn Charles Ellison, born 1872 - died 1940 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Silver, chased and cast

Marks and inscriptions

Bowl inscribed on foot 'I WAS WROUGHT FOR CAROL MARY VINSON BY COMMAND OF HER GRANDMOTHER M.E.L.'

Engraved: OMAR RAMSDEN ET ALWYN CARR ME FECERUNT

London hallmarks for 1911-12

Dimensions

Height: 15.7 cm, Width: 22.3 cm, Depth: 14.2 cm

Object history note

Made in London by Omar Ramsden (born in Sheffield, 1873, died in London, 1939) and Alwyn Carr (born in Sheffield, 1872, died in London, 1940)

Descriptive line

Silver, London hallmarks for 1911-12, mark of Ramsden and Carr

Labels and date

British Galleries:
It was traditional to buy or commission gifts to celebrate the christening of a child. Silver was popular since it could be engraved with inscriptions for the occasion. This example is modelled on the traditional shape of a Scottish 'quaich' and is decorated with thistles. [27/03/2003]

Materials

Silver

Techniques

Raising; Chasing

Subjects depicted

Thistles (plants)

Categories

Metalwork; Christianity; Children & Childhood

Collection

Metalwork Collection

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