Among the items stolen was this Guild of Handicraft silver, enamel and blister pearl porringer and cover hallmarked for 1902.

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During the early hours of Tuesday, August 1 more than 30 pieces were taken – many the property of private lenders.

Most of the pieces were by Charles Robert Ashbee, who moved the Guild of Handicraft workshops from east London to Chipping Campden in 1902, and the Hart Workshop, who joined Ashbee at the time and whose company still makes silver today. A fourpiece silver and rosewood tea and coffee set from 1964 was among several items by Robert Welch also taken.

It is the second theft of silver from the Chipping Campden museum in recent years. In 2011 ram raiders smashed their way into the building to take 23 items by Ashbee and Hart. None have since been traced.

Security upgrade

Curator Sarah McCormick Healy said that security at the museum had been substantially upgraded since the earlier theft. “Although recommendations were followed, it appears the thieves found a weak spot in the system.

“Once in the building, by crawling around the floor on their stomachs they were able to avoid the sensors so the alarm was not triggered.”

Anyone with information is asked to contact Gloucestershire Constabulary on 101 quoting case number 20170801-111 or the museum on 01386 841 951.

A selection of the 30 stolen objects can be viewed here: