The Duchess of Sutherland's Cripples Guild

The Guild originated in 1898 as The Potteries and Newcastle Cripples Guild. It was set up by Millicent Duchess of Sutherland, a society beauty and social reformer.

The Guilds aims were originally to provide medical treatment to children and to instruct children in a trade or craft. Originally artificial flowers, baskets and photograph frames were made, and boys learnt printing.

By 1902 there were over a hundred boys and girls being taught within the guild. Art metalwork began in 1902 under the guidance of Francis Arthur Edwards. Designs were copied or adapted from historical examples.

The majority of work was made in copper which was silver plated and silver. In 1907 the name of the Guild was changed to The Duchess of Sutherland's Cripples Guild of Handicrafts as the venture was made into a limited company.

The work produced was sold locally and at 13-14 New Bond Street in London. The metalwork employed 12 boys and a later a number of adults and closed in 1922.

Metalwork is stamped with a crown above the letters 'D.S.C.G'.

Known Craftsmen:

None currently known, further research currently being undertaken.

Further Reading:

Dear Duchess Millicent Duchess of Sutherland 1867-1955 - by Denis Stuart London Victor Gollancz Ltd 1982