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CHRISTOPHER DRESSER 1834-1904
Christopher Dresser was a pioneer in the field of industrial design from the mid-1860s to the 1890s. His versatility is demonstrated in his ability to design in a broad range of media including textiles, ceramics, glass, furniture and metalwork. It was with visionary foresight that he rejected Victorian historicism with its elaborate ornamentation, favouring instead simplicity of form appropriate to the function of an object. He appreciated that industry would enable 'good' design to reach society at large, if the materials selected were both affordable and economically employed.
He produced designs for the Sheffield based firm James Dixon and Sons between 1879 and 1882. The range of teapots (including lot 138) Dresser designed for them represent the zenith of his career. Not only do they embody the essence of his design principles, with their harmonious geometric forms and functionalism, but also they unequivocally demonstrate why he is widely accepted as the first modernist designer.
Post Lot Text
R. Dennis and J. Jesse, Christopher Dresser 1834-1904, London, 1972, pl. 138
W. Halen, Christopher Dresser, Oxford, 1990, p. 182, pl. 206
B. Hillier, Art Deco, Minneapolis Institute of Arts, 1971, cat. No. 150
M. Whiteway, Christopher Dresser 1834-1904, Milan, 2001, p. 102, pl. 88
M. Whiteway, The Shock of the Old: Christopher Dresser, Cooper Hewitt Museum, New York, 2004, p. 158, cat. No. 200
Reproduced courtesy of Sheffield Archives, reference "Dixons B12", Head of Leisure Services, Sheffield City Council.