Legacy of English Silver, one of England finnest Silversmith
Tureen and Tray by Paul Storr
Paul Storr is one of English greatest and legendary silversmith. He was born on 1 October 1770 in Middlesex. Paul Storr's reputation for perfecting the works, styles and designs of the grandiose neo-Classical style developed in the Regency period during the late 18th and early 19th centuries. His works are considered one of finest in English Silver. His works range from simple flatware to grand magnificent sculptural pieces made for royalties and palaces. His works can be found in Europe royal palaces and museums throughout the world. Until today, his legacy lives on and works still command astonishing high price in auctions worldwide.
Paul Storr portrait painting on oil on canvas
Paul Storr started learning silversmithing at the age of only 14 years old. He was attached and learn silversmith under the apprenticeship of Andrew Fogleberg, a Swedish born silversmith located at 30 Church Street, Soho in London.
A little about Andrew Fogelberg
Andrew Fogelberg was born in the year 1732 and died about 1815. In the 1770s, he was already active and established in Church Street, London in the 1770s. His silver workshop was near that of the gem engraver and modeller James Tassie (1735-1799). It was documented that Andrew Fogelberg probably relied directly on Tassie's glass paste reproductions of classical gemstones for his models. Fogleberg's is known for his fine quality work done in the high neo-classical style of the era and had made silver pieces which can be distinguished by its high quality of workmanship and an elegant, restrained classicism. This probably influenced young Paul Storr at that time.
The beginning of Paul Storr legacy
In the year of 1792 and when Paul Storr was only 22 years old, he decided to start out on its own and May 2 1792, he moved to Snow Hill to become partners with William Frisbee, a plate-worker of 5 Cock Lane (just south of Smithfield Market). Paul Storr entered his first mark in the first part of 1792. Soon after, he began to use his PS mark, which he maintained throughout his career with only minor changes.
Paul Storr "PS" mark
The partnership with William Frisbee did not last long. The partnership lasted for a mere 8 months after which they broke up. Records shows that from 1796, Paul relocate to 20 Air Street, which runs from Piccadilly across Regent Street to Glasshouse Street. Here he remained 11 years, and it was at this Air Street store that he made a name for himself as one of London’s leading manufacturing goldsmiths. He married Elizabeth Susanna Beyer June 27, 1801 at St. James, Westminster. Elizabeth Susanna Beyer was from Saxon family of piano and organ builders of Compton Street.
Work made for royalties
Though he held no official title, he quickly became the most important silversmith of the nineteenth century, and had enjoyed patronage from many important and powerful figures of the period. Some of his notable customers includes: King George III, King George IV and Duke of Portland
King George III and King George IV had purchased much of Storr's work. His first major work was a gold font commissioned by the Duke of Portland in 1797 and in 1799 he created the "Battle of the Nile Cup" for presentation to Lord Nelson.
Battle of the Nile Cup by Paul Storr
Collaboration with Phillip Rundell
Much of Storr's success was partly due to the influence of Phillip Rundell, of the popular silver retailing firm of Rundell, Bridge and Rundell. Rundell's firm nearly monopolized the early 19th century market for superior silver and obtained the Royal Warrant in 1806. Since 1803, this cunning but clever businessman realized the talent of Paul Storr and begun persuading the 33 year old young Paul Storr to join him. Phillip Rundell pursuing Paul Storr to leave Air Street and move to larger premises at 53 Dean Street, Soho which is quite near his old address in Church Street.
Storefront of Rundell and Bridge
It was only in 1806, at the age of 36 years old, that Paul Storr finally joined Phillip Rundell.
After joining Phillip Rundell, Paul Storr soon realized he had lost much of his artistic freedom. There were no individuality and personal craftsmanship in his works. He was merely the boss for a mass-production workshop.
In the year 1819 he left Phillip Rundell and decided to open his own shop, seeking the freedom and turning his attentions towards more naturalistic designs and soon began enjoying the patronage he desired.
Partnership with John Mortimer
After only a few years of independence, Storr realized he needed a centralized retail location and partnered with John Mortimer, founding Storr and Mortimer in 1822 on Bond Street.
By 1838, his latest collaboration became riddled with complications, mostly due to Mortimer's poor management of the business. Storr retired from silversmithing and at the age of 68 he and his wife, Elizabeth, moved to Hill House in Tooting in 1839. Storr died just later.5 years after retirement, he died on 18 March 1844 and is buried in the churchyard of St Nicholas, Tooting. His estate at that time was only £3,000. He had 10 children. There is a memorial to him at the church of St Mary, Otley, Suffolk put up in 1845 by his son the Rev. Francis Storr, the incumbent.
Reader at this time might have the impression that Paul Storr silver pieces value, lies in the notion that he commissioned works for the royalies. But it is untrue. The true value for Paul Storr is that he imparted a level of craftsmanship and superior quality into his works. His efforts were not reserved for his more prestigious pieces. Every pieces from Paul Storr was given the same superior level of quality and workmanship. He had made various flatware and even small items like spoons, forks. This kind of craftsmanship were rarely been seen since after.
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