Dunstan Pruden
Silversmithing: its principles and practice in small workshops
Ditchling Common: St Dominic’s Press, 1933
Syn.6.92.4(20), frontispiece
Image reproduced by permission of the estates of Philip Hagreen and Dunstan Pruden.

Alfred Charles Pruden trained at the Central School of Arts & Crafts in London. He converted to Catholicism in 1932. He took the name of Dunstan, patron saint of silversmiths, and moved to Ditchling, where he joined the Guild of St Joseph and St Dominic. He was notable for working directly in metal when producing figurative pieces.

Philip Hagreen, a convert to Catholicism during the First World War, had come to Ditchling much earlier than Pruden (in 1923), had later stayed with the Gills at Capel-y-ffin, but then returned to Ditchling and the guild. His illustration of Pruden’s workshop has an exemplary clarity. It shows the leather pouches attached to the workbenches which caught stray bits of silver or other precious metals, as well as the craftsman’s tools. The workbench is now on display at Ditchling Museum of Art and Craft alongside examples of Pruden’s silver.

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