The Audsleys, William James and George Ashdown, were successful Liverpool architects, who practised from about 1860 to 1883, designing many churches and public buildings. Among their buildings are the Presbyterian church of Wales, Princes Avenue, Liverpool (1865), the Synagogue, Princes Road, Liverpool (1875) -- one of their finest buildings -- the YMCA, Mount Pleasant, Liverpool (1875-7) and the Church of Edward the Confessor, Philadelphia (see J. Quentin Hughes, Liverpool, London, 1969). The Audsleys were among the best known nineteenth-century "ornamentists" and helped to lead (with Owen Jones and Christopher Dresser), the revival in English decorative design that had begun after the Great Exhibition of 1851. They published a number of books on ornament and architecture including The Sermon on the Mount (London, 1861) -- one of the finest of contemporary "illuminated" books -- A Handbook of Christian Symbolism (London, 1865), Cottage, Lodge and Villa Architecture (Glasgow, 1868), Outlines of Ornament (London, 1881) and Polychromatic Decoration (London, 1882). George Audsley collaborated with Maurice Ashdown Audsley in The Practical Decorator and Ornamentist (Glasgow, 1892) -- one of the last major British chromolithographic books.

George Audsley was one of the earliest British authorities on Japanese art publishing A Descriptive Catalogue of Art Works in Japanese Lacquer (London, 1875) (a catalogue of the lacquer in the Bowes collection) and The Ornamental Arts of Japan (London, 1884); he collaborated with James Lord Bowes in The Keramic Arts of Japan (London, 1875) -- Robin Spencer, Aesthetic Movement



Plates from a Book on Gothic Design

Plates from a Book on Japanese Design

Book design and illumination


The Aesthetic Movement and the Cult of Japan. Exhibition catalogue. London: The Fine Art Society, 1972.

Audsley, George Ashdown, and James Lord Bowes. Keramic Art of Japan.. Liverpool, For the subscribers by the authors; Londoo: Harry Sotheran, 1875.

Audsley, William (1833-) and George Ashdown Audsley (1838-1925). Polychromatic decoration as applied to buildings in the mediaeval styles.. London: Sotheran, 1882.

Victorian and Edwardian Decorative Art: The Handley-Read Collection. London: The Fine Art Society, 1972.

Last modified 22 December 2013