Born 1871, one of the four children of Thomas (died 1877) and Mary Jones, Upper Cross Keys Inn, Llanfyllin, Montgomeryshire. The mother moved to Porthmadog (c. 1895) and to Pwllheli (c. 1910). The son had private tuition before joining the Royal Welch Fusiliers but he did not pursue that path and resigned from the army. Having developed a deep interest in gold and silver antiques, he began to write to Y Cymmrodor and Archaeologia Cambrensis in 1904 and was a regular contributor for the rest of his life to journals such as the Burlington Magazine (e.g. ‘Some old silver plate in the possession of Lord Mostyn’, 1907), The Connoisseur (e.g. ‘Welsh goldsmiths’, 1941), Apollo, The Athenaeum and Art in America. The church plate of the diocese of Bangor (1906) was his first book, and it was soon followed by a number of books and catalogues dealing with gold treasures and silver plate of the churches of England and the Isle of Man, the colleges of Oxford and Cambridge, the royal collection in the Tower of London, and many private collections. After visiting museums and homes on the Continent, Russia and United States of America he published the fruits of his studies in The old English plate of the Emperor of Russia (1909), The old silver of American churches (1909), Old silver of Europe and America, from early times to the nineteenth century (1928) and other works. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Fine Art in Yale University, U.S.A., and received an hon. M.A. degree from four universities (Wales; 1918), he was elected a Fellow of a number of learned societies; received the freedom of the city of London; and became a member of the Gorsedd of Bards. He died a bachelor in London 23 August 1943.
Published date: 2001
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