Maker/Retailer Biography

Elkington & Co

Dates: 1824-1968

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Metalworking firm founded by George Richard Elkington. Its fortunes were immensely enhanced by foresight of the founder and Henry Elkington in taking out the earliest patents for the electrodeposition process in 1836. The electrotyping reproductive technique was also profitably pioneered by the company. As well as the profitable electroplate, the firm made elaborate prize-winning silverware designed by the Frenchmen Emile Jeannest and Leonard Morel Ladeuil. Albert (Auguste Adolphe) Willms also supplied designs to the company and was head of the firm's design studio from 1859 until his death in 1899. Dresser's connection with Elkington lasted from 1865 to 1890. During this period a number of experiments were made with Japanese techniques of cloisonne enamels - the first piece was registered in 1866 - komai engraved and chased decoration, and mixed-metal techniques. The firm later abandoned manufacturing cloisonne in favour of importing cheaper Japanese wares. Elkington exhibited at the international exhibitions in 1851, 1855, 1862, 1867, 1871,1873, 1876 and 1878.

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