H.W. Batley

Scope and Content

A collection of small tracings and colour sketches, mostly floral in subject. Some are signed while others have been ascribed to H.W. Batley.

Administrative / Biographical History

Henry William Batley (1846-1932),was an important figure in the English Aesthetic Movement. Renowned for his etchings and engravings, he was also a gifted Aesthetic furniture designer. Batley was trained by acclaimed furniture designer Bruce Talbert, quickly finding work as a designer for Collinson & Lock. The Victorian dining chairs, day beds and armchairs he designed are acclaimed for their fine detailed carving, often incorporating stylised floral carvings, and twist-fluting on the arm supports. By 1878 Batley was also designing for Shoolbred & Co. He designed the interiors for their Terracotta House, commissioned by Doulton, at the Paris Exhibition – for which he was awarded the cross of the Legion d’Honneur. His elaborate interiors were also showcased in the publication “Decoration”, in 1884. He published “Series of Studies for Domestic Furniture Decoration Etc” in 1883, which clearly shows the influence of Talbert and Godwin on his antique cabinets and armchairs. As well as his etchings and writings, he designed textiles and wallpapers; Arthur Silver, founder of Silver Studio, was apprenticed to him in 1873. Batley has been compared to the Arts & Crafts furniture designers. However, his aim was to form close working partnerships between designers and commercial manufacturers – the opposite of Morris and his contemporaries. To this end, Batley founded the Guild of Decorators Syndicate in 1908.