Saturday, 26 May 2012

Luther Hooper & Edmund Hunter

I have recently discovered that Luther Hooper and Edmund Hunter were in business together.  Both of these weavers had works in St Christopher's Church, Haslemere.  Luther Hooper had silk altar curtains and a wool hanging on the choir vestry, Edmund Hunter produced the altar frontal.  St Christopher's have an old postcard showing the altar curtains by Luther Hooper and altar frontal by Edmund Hunter, albeit they are a bit distant and grainy.
St Christopher's Church, Haslemere c. 1910
with Luther Hooper altar curtains and St Edmundsbury Weavers altar frontal

Luther Hooper was weaving silk and wool at the Greenbushes workshops on Kings Road, Haslemere, and Edmund Hunter was running the St Edmundsbury Weavers from Haslemere until moving to a factory in Letchworth in 1908.  The St Edmundsbury Weavers were established in 1902.  It would appear that this was a new separate venture, following the end of Luther Hooper and Edmund Hunter's joint business, the Haslemere Silk Weavers.   The London Gazette (13 December 1901) reported:

"Notice is hereby given, that the partnership heretofore subsisting between us the undersigned, Luther Hooper and Edmund Arthur Hunter, carrying on business as Silk Weavers, at Haslemere, in the county of Surrey, under the style or firm of "Haslemere Silk Weavers," was dissolved as and from the 29th day of November, 1901, by mutual consent.  All debts will be paid by Luther Hooper. - Dated the 6th day of December, 1901.
                                           LUTHER HOOPER

The St Edmundsbury Weavers' 'Vineyard Poplin' which formed the altar frontal for St Christopher's Church was also made in silk.  The silk version was exhibited at the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society in 1912 (according to The Victoria Web).  It is interesting to see the different versions of this design.

Vineyard Poplin by the St Edmundsbury Weavers,
at St Christopher's Church, Haslemere

Detail of Vineyard Poplin by the St Edmundsbury Weavers

Vineyard Poplin, designed by Edmund Hunter,
Art Journal, November 1906
Vineyard by Edmund Hunter,
silk and gold thread,
maunfactured by St Edmundsbury Weavers
The Victorian Web

Luther Hooper and Edmund Hunter would continue to exhibit their works in the same forums.  Hopefully their parting was an amicable one.  In the 28th September 1906 edition of a New Zealand British Art paper  there is a list of items exhibited in the Arts and Crafts sub-section of a British Art exhibit (it's not clear what exactly the exhibition is), it is remarked that "they should be of the greatest value to local designers who are desirous of studying the best models" which includes "Handwoven Dorsel Hanging for a Small Altar, "Vine and Wheat" - Exhibited and designed by Luther Hooper, executed by Percy Hooper."  At the same time, there is an exhibit described as "Woven Tapestry, "The Forest": Chalice Veil, "Kembic" - Exhibited and designed by Edmund Hunter, A. and C., executed by Edmund Hunter and the St. Edmundsbury Weavers."

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