Saturday, 26 May 2012

Luther Hooper & Edmund Hunter

I have recently discovered that Luther Hooper and Edmund Hunter were in business together.  Both of these weavers had works in St Christopher's Church, Haslemere.  Luther Hooper had silk altar curtains and a wool hanging on the choir vestry, Edmund Hunter produced the altar frontal.  St Christopher's have an old postcard showing the altar curtains by Luther Hooper and altar frontal by Edmund Hunter, albeit they are a bit distant and grainy.
St Christopher's Church, Haslemere c. 1910
with Luther Hooper altar curtains and St Edmundsbury Weavers altar frontal

Luther Hooper was weaving silk and wool at the Greenbushes workshops on Kings Road, Haslemere, and Edmund Hunter was running the St Edmundsbury Weavers from Haslemere until moving to a factory in Letchworth in 1908.  The St Edmundsbury Weavers were established in 1902.  It would appear that this was a new separate venture, following the end of Luther Hooper and Edmund Hunter's joint business, the Haslemere Silk Weavers.   The London Gazette (13 December 1901) reported:

"Notice is hereby given, that the partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Luther Hooper and Edmund Arthur Hunter, carrying on business as Silk Weavers, at Haslemere, in the county of Surrey, under the style or firm of "Haslemere Silk Weavers," was dissolved as and from the 29th day of November, 1901, by mutual consent.  All debts will be paid by Luther Hooper. - Dated the 6th day of December, 1901.
                                           LUTHER HOOPER

The St Edmundsbury Weavers' 'Vineyard Poplin' which formed the altar frontal for St Christopher's Church was also made in silk.  The silk version was exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1912 (according to The Victoria Web).  It is interesting to see the different versions of this design.

Vineyard Poplin by the St Edmundsbury Weavers,
at St Christopher's Church, Haslemere

Detail of Vineyard Poplin by the St Edmundsbury Weavers

Vineyard Poplin, designed by Edmund Hunter,
Art Journal, November 1906
Vineyard by Edmund Hunter,
silk and gold thread,
maunfactured by St Edmundsbury Weavers
The Victorian Web

Luther Hooper and Edmund Hunter would continue to exhibit their works in the same forums.  Hopefully their parting was an amicable one.  In the 28th September 1906 edition of a New Zealand British Art paper  there is a list of items exhibited in the Arts and Crafts sub-section of a British Art exhibit (it's not clear what exactly the exhibition is), it is remarked that "they should be of the greatest value to local designers who are desirous of studying the best models" which includes "Handwoven Dorsel Hanging for a Small Altar, "Vine and Wheat" - Exhibited and designed by Luther Hooper, executed by Percy Hooper."  At the same time, there is an exhibit described as "Woven Tapestry, "The Forest": Chalice Veil, "Kembic" - Exhibited and designed by Edmund Hunter, A. and C., executed by Edmund Hunter and the St. Edmundsbury Weavers."

Thursday, 24 May 2012

The Peasant Arts movement 2012 style

A small aside, but I thought the translation of my blog on this site very amusing.  I do not think the description of their movement could have been imagined by the Blounts and the Kings / Sovereigns / Regents in their wildest dreams!

Godfrey Blount overmantle in Haslemere

Godfrey and Ethel Blount are recorded as living on Weydown Road, Haslemere in 1911 at a house called St Cross.  There is currently another house on Weydown Road, Whitethorns, to let which describes in it's particulars "Built in 1902, during the Arts and Crafts period, the property has been extended and modernised in recent years to provide a substantial and comfortable family home. Internally, the property displays a number of characteristics typical of the period, chief of which is enormous attention to detail. The attractive use of exposed timber beams, inglenook style fireplaces and panelled walls in the reception lobby recall the English vernacular style, in addition to ledged oak doors with Suffolk latches and high quality joinery throughout. The element most strongly associating the property with the Arts and Crafts movement in and around Haslemere is the fireplace in the reception hall, with its superb 
moulded plaster overmantle by Godfrey Blount."  
Godfrey Blount overmantle at Weydown Road, Haslemere

The 6 bedroom house is to let for £5,500 per month.  It is possible to see the overmantle in one of the 
photographs, but it is not easy to make out the detail.  It looks like a tree or frond arching pattern.
Godfrey Blount overmantle,
Weydown Road, Haslemere

With 6 bedrooms, a tennis court and 1.5 acres, I wonder if this house is typical of the supporters of the Peasant Arts movement.  
Arts and Crafts house containing Godfrey Blount plasterwork,
Weydown Road, Haslemere

It is interesting to see that Godfrey Blount did work in one of his neighbour's houses.  As there is no plasterwork at Wildwood, the home of Greville MacDonald, a great friend and fellow Peasant Art supporter who lived next door to the Blounts, I had not thought that there would be Blount plasterwork in other neighbouring houses.  I wonder how many other Haslemere houses have uncharted Blount plasterwork?  

Friday, 4 May 2012

The May Garland Vs. Labour Day

In the May 1912 edition of The Vineyard Maude Egerton King shows a reaction against the May 1911 "Remember the Garland" article.  "I do hope that this year the Vineyard will remember that the first of May is Labour Day," said a revolutionary lady recently, "and in the face of these tremendous social and economic crises drop its trivalities about garlanding.  It might just as well tell us to plant primroses round sewers instead of emptying them."
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