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EDGAR SIMPSON (England, Nottingham d. 1945 / act: England & Switzerland)

Edgar Simpson Elyse Zorn Karlin in her book Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition (Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA, 1993) provides brief biographical sketches of some 240 British designers who worked in the Arts & Crafts movement (fl. 1880-1910). This is what she had to say about Edgar Simpson: "A jeweller from Nottingham, Simpson worked between 1896-1910 in a simple style, somewhat similar to C.R. Ashbee. His work, some of which was exhibited in 1902 at the Vienna Secession exhibit, often took the form of curved wirework pendants with enamel. Other pieces by Simpson include: silver cloak clasps, gold pendants set with opal and amethysts, silver pendants, brooches, buttons with enamel, and a pendant with an opal in matrix. Dolphins and other marine animals were familiar motifs in his work. Simpson designed for Charles Horner and other firms. He designed some pieces in the Glasgow style which were exhibited in Vienna. Charles Rennie Mackintosh had recommended him to Josef Hoffman of the Wiener Werkstätte when Mackintosh was unable to fill a request himself. § Born [in 1867] in Nottingham, for some ten years Edgar Gilstrap Simpson's family home was Highfield House in Lenton. Initially his father, Henry Simpson, was a successful lace manufacturer but in the early 1890s Henry got into to financial difficulties which prompted the family exodus from Highfield House about 1893 to more humble dwellings elsewhere in Nottingham. Our own researches reveal that in 1903 Simpson moved to Switzerland [Steve Zaleski, a local historian of Lenton, found that Simpson moved to Vevey], where he married and raised a family of his own. Once his work as a jeweller came to a halt, Simpson subsequently took up a career as a professional photographer. Along with his wife and two daughters, Simpson eventually made England their permanent home and he was living near Orpington in Kent at the time of his death in 1945".

[Megakles Rogakos 12/2007]

BIBLIOGRAPHY:
ZORN KARLIN, ELYSE Jewelry and Metalwork in the Arts & Crafts Tradition 1993 Schiffer Publishing, Atglen, PA

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