We’ve had several copies of the National Pig Breeders’ Association prize medal pass through our stock over the years but not noticed the artist before; Herbert Maryon, a leading sculptor and teacher in the Arts and Crafts movement.
Herbert Maryon was born in London in 1874, studied at the Polytechnic, then at St Martin’s & Central School of Arts and Crafts. Subsequently he had a one-year scholarship for an apprenticeship in silversmithing and metalwork at C R Asbee’s Essex House Guild of Handicrafts. Essex House was at 401 Mile End Road (just over the road from Mile End Tube Station now), incorporating William Morris’ Kelmscott presses, but the enterprise moved in 1902 to Chipping Campden.
Meanwhile Herbert Maryon became Director of the Keswick School of Industrial Art, then moved to Lancaster until finally ending up in Reading where he taught metalwork and modelling from 1907 until after the First World War, even teaching munitions workers during the conflict.
Before the Second World War, he worked at the British Museum as a technical advisor, and is probably best known for his conservation work on the Sutton Hoo treasures, for which he received his CBE. (See treasure from this ship burial at the British Museum – the site in Suffolk is now run by the National Trust)
Other medals by him noted by the Mapping Sculpture site are for the University of Reading (c. 1927) and for Berkshire County Council. However, Maryon’s lovely pig medal seems now to have been replaced with the National Pig Awards – with cash prizes for Pig Producer of the year and others.
Maryon: it’s an unusual name – Forrer lists a Miss Edith Maryon exhibiting at the Royal Academy from 1899 for the next few years whose works according to Spielman in British Sculpture and Sculptors of To-day ‘show taste and elegance, and are full of promise” – I wonder if she’s a relation? (BDM III.599)