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Ash, Claudius (1792–1854), silversmith and dental supplier, the second son of Sarjeant Ash (bap. 1755, d. 1820), silversmith, and his wife, Lydia, was born in London on 2 March 1792 and baptized with his younger brother William on 18 May 1794. At the time of his birth, and for several years before, it is likely that the family was settled in the neighbourhood of ...

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Austen, William (fl. 1449–1454), metal-founder, is known only for his work on the tomb of Richard Beauchamp, earl of Warwick (d. 1439), in the latter's chantry in St Mary's Church, Warwick. Documentary evidence for Austen's involvement survives in the form of seventeenth-century transcripts, and eighteenth- and nineteenth-century copies of transcripts, taken from medieval contracts which appear to have been incomplete when the transcripts were made, and which are now lost....

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Backwell, Edward (c. 1619–1683), goldsmith and banker, the son of Barnaby Backwell of Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, a yeoman, was apprenticed in 1635 to Thomas Vyner, a leading goldsmith. He became free of the Goldsmiths' Company in 1651, of which he was to be prime warden in 1660....

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Edward Backwell (c. 1619–1683) by unknown engraver, pubd 1797 © Copyright The British Museum

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Baily, Edward Hodges (1788–1867), sculptor and designer and modeller of silver, was born on 10 March 1788 at Bristol, the son of William Baily, a ship's carver, and his wife, Martha. After leaving school at the age of fourteen Baily was placed in a merchant's counting house where he remained for two years. He formed an acquaintance with a local artist called ...

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Barantyn, Drew (c. 1350–1415), goldsmith and mayor of London, was the younger son of Thomas Barantyn, lord of Chalgrove in Oxfordshire (he had an older brother, Thomas, who died in 1400). Barantyn's talents as a craftsman rather than his family connections were to be the key to his success in the world. He was apprenticed to ...

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Bateman [née Neden, Needham], Hester (bap. 1708, d. 1794), silversmith, was baptized on 7 October 1708 at St Michael-le-Querne, Paternoster Row, in the City of London, the daughter of John Neden or Needham. Little is known of her early life, but as she was unable to sign her name it must be assumed that any education she received was rudimentary. She was living in the parish of ...

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Benson, William Arthur Smith (1854–1924), metalwork designer, was born at 6 Sussex Square, Paddington, Middlesex, on 17 October 1854, the eldest in the family of four sons and two daughters of William Benson (1816–1887), barrister, and his wife, Elizabeth Soulsby, daughter of Thomas Smith...