H. Crowther Ltd was established in Chiswick as a working Studio in 1908, where it remains unchanged to this day.
Henry Crowther, the founder, had a good knowledge of 18th century lead garden
ornament, learned from his father’s, Tom Crowther’s, antique garden
ornament business founded in the 1880s. (See picture below.) Tom’s background
was as an accomplished stone and marble mason, his first exhibition in 1914
at the Chelsea Flower show, winning him a gold medal. With his background
and knowledge, Henry opened the ornamental lead studio in Chiswick in 1908.
Being on good terms with his father, this link provided unlimited access to
the fine, original sculptural works passing through his father's hands, enabling
him to loan, copy and add to his range. The demise of large country homes
at that time provided these examples in abundance.
Crowthers displaying at the first Chelsea Flower Show, 1914. (Left: top and bottom)
Cover from catalogue of garden ornaments displayed at the Chelsea Flower Show, 1914. (Below)
Crowthers 2006 (Above)
Chelsea Flower Show 2006. Cris Beardshaw’s Gold Medal winning garden, featuring a Crowther studio lead fountain, was a clever re-creation
of the Gertrude Jekyll’s and Thomas Mawson’s, Boverage Park, "Canal
Garden". The Crowther studio supplied the original fountain to Boverage in the early 1900s, where it still remains.
The Chelsea garden also won the coveted BBC’s People’s Choice Award.
Crowthers 2007 (Above and centre)
2007 saw H. Crowther Ltd exhibit on its own stand at the Chelsea RHS Flower Show after an interval of 50 years. Featuring a range of items that was representative of its entire collection, the stand received a “Certificate of Commendation” for its high quality of presentation.
Crowthers 2008 (Above)
Another award in 2008 re-affirmed the previous high standards set by Crowthers.
Tom Crowther, seated, with son Henry. 1910.
Henry perfected a method of casting lead from moulds of sand and moist clay;
he could produce high quality sculptural castings at a fraction of the expense,
compared to the elaborate lost-wax method favoured by 18th century craftsmen.
In about 1927, Henry’s brother bought the Georgian mansion, once the
Dower House, and grounds of the Syon estate, establishing the well-known Crowther
of Syon Lodge, architectural and garden ornament dealers. By 1930 Henry had
his three sons working with him, his continued association with his father’s
and brother’s company (by then the largest architectural antique dealers
in the U.K.) ensuring the widest selection of quality lead ornament available
anywhere. There was a ready home market in the expanding suburbs for smaller
Henry Crowther, centre, with his 3 sons: Ron, Leslie and Jim. 1930.
The company had demand from emerging important new gardens being created at
the time, such as at Sissinghurst Castle, where H. Crowther Ltd’s
leadwork can be seen today. A steady stream of the company’s works also
flowed to established 18th century historic gardens. Over the next seventy years,
the Crowthers were also employed restoring their existing original 18th century
The company to date, staffed by dedicated craftsmen, mainly family members,
has consciously remained small and always worked from the original moulds.
Due to the legacy of past generations, H. Crowther offers an expanding
range of 200 lead casts, both modest and grand. This wide choice and our knowledge,
used to collaborate with our clients, are the main elements responsible for
the long continuity of this company.
in the garden at 5 High Road, Chiswick. 1950.
1940’s Chiswick craftsmen with Giambologna’s Medici Mercury, one of three sizes of this model still available today.
1962: Jim Crowther conducting one of a number of restorations at Castle Howard, Yorkshire.