Posted 10 years ago
These cabochons bear the name Ruskin but were made by a firm named in honour of the great John Ruskin. That firm was established by Edward Richard Taylor in Birmingham, England in 1898. E.R.'s son was William Howson Taylor who took over his father's company and works in 1912. The Ruskin Pottery began manufacturing these cabochons in 1903.
These are the first of a group of Ruskin cabochons that I bought a year ago. What I like about them are the glazes." Ruskin's soufflé glazes, introduced in 1898, came in a wide assortment of exquisite colors, including green, dark blue, turquoise and purple. Note that some of them look to have been used, while others seem new. I believe the woman who owned these had collected them all over a period of time. I also think that a couple of these are high-fired flambé cabochons which "were introduced in 1903, and came in a wide range of beautiful colors."
"A new departure is the preparation of small round plaques - 'roundels' , varying from about three inches in diameter to the size of a small button. These are intended to be introduced as gems or points of colour in decorative woodwork and metal work." - Birmingham Daily Post, January 1903
The name "Ruskin" is synonymous with the Arts & Crafts Movement. John Ruskin saw the mediaeval workman as being the ideal craftsman. Sheila Sindelar writes: "In his view, this model was a means to bring about nothing less than the emancipation of the working classes of his time, and he began using it to address social and political problems in 1857. Part and parcel of this philosophy was a belief that, by surrounding themselves with honest and simple objects and works of art, peoples' lives would somehow be enriched."
Read the article by Sheila Sindelar here: http://www.modernsilver.com/ruskin.htm