Richard Wright and other silvery matters

Several readers of this blog have been in touch to ask about my progress on Richard Wright and the question of silver manufactured in Manchester for export to Morocco. Well, I can report at last that I have sent an article called ‘Silvery singing voices:’ Moroccan Manchester and the Puzzle of Richard Wright which sums up my findings, to the Journal of North African Studies where it will be published in due course. So anyone who’s interested in following up should keep an eye open for that. It covers both the development of the Moroccan community in Manchester, with a good deal of information about the families and individuals, mostly from Fes, who lived there; and the origins of the silver trade. It fairly conclusively identifies Richard Wright, explores the origins of the silver business and the design background to the classic Moroccan teapot; and reflects on the mythology that has grown up around a man who is a household name in Morocco and completely unknown in England. I hope that readers in Morocco will add to it.

16 thoughts on “Richard Wright and other silvery matters

  1. Hi Martin – I stumbled on your blog during a Google search for information on a silver biscuit box I inherited. The Arabic writing on the underside of the (footed) biscuit box is what threw me off; it is above the words “Richard Wright, Manchester, Made in England.” Thanks to you the mystery has been solved! I will look for your article, and am happy to send you a photo of my piece, if you’d like. Cheers – J

  2. Hi Jana, it’s probably not a biscuit box – I don’t think such things had much currency in late 19th early 20th century Morocco (though very possibly used as one since!). It is more likely to be a sugar-box, or a mint-box, both part of the tea-making process. Best wishes, Martin

    1. That is fascinating. Thanks for the clarification! Do you think it has any monetary value? (I plan to keep it, but am curious). Regards, Jana

    2. Hello my name is cornellius sullivan I work on Richard Wright products for many years I still have copies of the marking instructions

      1. I’d be interested to see them. I’ve researched the Wright story and written an article in the Journal of North African Studies which you might find interesting.

  3. Well, whatever value it has is certainly greatest in Morocco. Depending on condition and on what it’s made of (probably silver plate on copper or argentann) it might be worth £50 or so. If solid silver (unlikely) a good deal more.

    1. I’m trying to reply from a telephone in hospital and the message keeps shooting off unfinished … I’ll do better from my computer when I get home. I don’t see Researchgate but there’s an email address on the article so you can write directly. Best wishes Martin (and amazingly I finished that time – third time lucky)

  4. Our messages crossed, I checked the article for your email address but am not sure it’s there. Could you maybe send me an email so I can respond to that?

  5. Hello Martin, I suppose like a lot of people that visit Morocco, on my return I started to research a little about the tea making we experienced there , this has lead me to your interesting blog regarding Richard Wright, can you tell me how I can now read your article ‘Silvery singing voices:’ ? Regards Dave

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