John Starkie Gardner FGS, FSA (1845-1930). Art metal worker, author, geologist, company director.
Born in London. He was the son of John Edmund Gardner (1819-99, born in St. Martin’s in the Fields, London) a highly successful manufacturer of chandeliers and lamps who left effects valued at £37,439 13s. 9d at his death in 1899. John Starkie Gardner had a strong interest in paleontology and geology from an early stage and actively participated in debates on evolution. He donated fossils and other specimens to the Natural History Museum, conducted geological research (some in the Bournemouth area), and delivered a number of papers (for example at a conference organised by the British Association in Montreal in 1884). Gardner was a director of the London Southern Tramways Company from the mid-1880s and of the (New) N.A.P. Window Co., Ltd. from 1898.
It is not clear at what stage he became an art metal worker. The first clear evidence dates from 1884 the year he married Caroline Cubitt (born c.1851) with whom he went into partnership as Starkie Gardner and Co. On the marriage banns, Caroline described her father, Edwin Ward, as an architect and her first husband was a merchant. The firm achieved some early successes, including a medal awarded at the International Health Exhibition, London in 1884 and positive reviews for their products (such as a notice in ‘The Times’ for the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society show of 1888). Starkie Gardner began to lecture and write about wrought iron work and other aspects of art metal work. Between about 1893 and 1930 he published over 20 books and catalogues on this subject. He also sold a collection of designs and drawing by the designer Sir William Chambers to the Victoria and Albert Museum in 1910.
In 1895 the business partnership with his wife Caroline broke up and they were divorced five years later in 1900. During the proceedings it was stated that she had objected to the large payments from the business that Starkie Gardner had made to another woman, Alice Dring. The latter was also named as co-respondent. In 1914 Gardner and Dring were married and at some stage, Alice became a partner in her husband’s business. He continued to publish and to remain involved in the firm although it is assumed this was primarily an advisory capacity as he was in his mid-80s when Alice died in 1924.
- John Starkie Gardner. 1884. Fossil plants. Ed. Geologists’ Association. 24 pp.
- Constantin von Ettingshausen (1826-1897), John Starkie Gardner. 1879 – 1886. A Monograph of the British Eocene Flora. 2 volúmenes. 86 pp. Reeditó BiblioBazaar, 2010. 160 pp. ISBN 1141691574
- Franz Sales Meyer, John Starkie Gardner. 1896. A handbook of art smithing for the use of practical smiths, designers of ironwork, technical and art schools, architects, etc (Un manual de arte herrería para el uso práctico de los herreros, los diseñadores de trabajo de hierro, las escuelas técnicas y el arte, arquitectos, etc.) Ed. B. Hessling. 207 pp.
- John Starkie Gardner. 1897. Armour in England: from the earliest times to the reign of James the first. Nº 33 de Portfolio. Ed. Seeley & Co. 100 pp. Reeditó General Books LLC, 2010. 54 pp. ISBN 1153291584
- John Starkie Gardner. 1899. Foreign armour in England. Nº 38 de Portfolio. Ed. Seeley & Co. 96 pp. Reeditó Nabu Press, 2010. 118 pp. ISBN 1171568002
- John Starkie Gardner, Alfred Higgins. 1897. Catalogue of a collection of European enamels from the earliest date to the end of the XVII. century. Ed. Burlinton Fine Arts Club. 82 pp.
- John Starkie Gardner. 1900. Exhibition of chased and embossed steel and iron work of European origin. Ed. Burlinton Fine Arts Club. 82 pp.
- John Starkie Gardner. 1901. Exhibition of a collection of silversmiths’ work of European origin. Ed. Burlinton Fine Arts Club. 185 pp. Reeditó Kessinger Publ. 2010. 202 pp. ISBN 1162095555
- John Starkie Gardner. 1903. Old silver-work: chiefly English from the XVth to the XVIIIth centuries. Ed. B.T. Batsford. 198 pp.
- John W. Caldicott, John Starkie Gardner. 1906. The values of old English silver and Sheffield plate, from the XVth to the XIXth centuries. Ed. Bemrose & sons Ltd. 293 pp.
- John Starkie Gardner. 1911. English ironwork of the XVIIth & XVIIIth centuries: an historical & analytical account of the development of exterior smithcraft. Ed. B. T. Batsford. 336 pp. Reeditó Dover Publications, 2001. 464 pp. ISBN 0486412431
- John Starkie Gardner. 1922. Ironwork …: A complete survey of the artistic working of iron in Great Britain from the earliest times. Volumen 3 de Ironwork. 90 pp.
- John Starkie Gardner. 1927. Ironwork: from the earliest times to the end of the mediaeval period, Parte 1. 4ª ed. Taylor & Francis. x + 148 pp.