As Goldsmith Osman designed the Crown for the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1969, and as architect he commissioned Jacob Epstein’s chef d’oeuvre, the Madonna and Child on the convent Osman rebuilt in Cavendish Square, W1 London after the war. This is a large archive we acquired of his works from his daughter.
Louis Osman (30 January 1914 – 11 April 1996) was an architect, artist, goldsmith, silversmith and medallist. Few people matched his creations as a goldsmith, and consequently he was chosen to make the crown for the Investiture of the Prince of Wales in 1968. Many of his other works are in public collections in the UK and worldwide.
After Hele’s school in Exeter he studied at the Bartlett School of Architecture – part of University College London – from 1931. Also attending the Slade, he left the Bartlett being awarded the top first, which brings with it the Donaldson Medal of the RIBA. Subsequently he trained with Sir Albert Richardson (who lived in a large Georgian house in Northamptonshire in which he refused to have electric light; his wife was endlessly patient with his eccentricities).
Serving during the Second World War as a Major in the Intelligence Corps, he was a specialist in Air Photography and served on the Beach Reconnaissance Committee prior to the June 1944 Normandy ‘D-Day’ landings.
Following the war he was busy as an architect, works including for Westminster Abbey, and Lincoln, Exeterm, Ely and Lichfield Cathedrals. Staunton Harold Church in Ashby de la Zouch for the National Trust, and of course his own folly, the Grade I listed Elizabethan manor house, Canons Ashby in Northamptonshire – which was given to the National Trust in 1981 when Osman was not able to keep the tenancy any longer.
At Canons Ashby he established a workshop and had a team of silversmiths and goldsmiths working for him. In 1974 he created the exhibition celebrated by this lavishly illustrated catalogue. His 1969 crown for the Investiture of the Prince of Wales was on display, together with many other items of his own creation, and also by other silversmiths such as Malcolm Green, Philip Noaks and Stephen Nunn, also acknowledging the work of Desmond Clenn-Murphy, Peter Musgrove and Christopher Philipson in his own works.
In 1976 he made the gold enamelled casket that holds the copy of the Magna Carta on view in the United States Capitol, Washington, DC