Dictionary of Irish Architects 1720 - 1940

Architectural sculptor and decorator, of Dublin, active from the 1870s until the 1930s. According to the English census of 1871, Henry Emery was born in Liverpool in about 1851. He studied his craft in Liverpool - he is described as a stone carver in the 1871 census - and then moved to Dublin. At some point he entered the stone and marble works of ALFRED P. SHARP  ALFRED P. SHARP at 17 Great Brunswick Street. Sharp was also a builder, and in about 1877 Emery was placed in charge of the stone- and wood-carving side of the business.(1) As such he would have been responsible for the carving in the Mariners' Church, Dun Laoghaire, in 1883-4.(2) He was taken into partnership by Sharp in the late 1890s. Sharp's name disappears from the directories between 1918 and 1922 but the business continued under the name of SHARP & SHARP & amp; EMERY  EMERY until the late 1920s, after which it appears as 'Henry Emery (late Sharp & Emery)'. Henry Emery himself has disappeared from the directories by 1933. Emery is presumably the 'H. Emery' who was a member of the Dublin Sketching Club and who exhibited pottery Celtic vases at the club's exhibition in 1883.(3) Sir THOMAS DREW  THOMAS DREW particularly admired his imitations of Bossi work, deeming it 'no less refined, and to be valued as highly hereafter as the prized work of the ancient master'.(4) In 1903 the Lord Lieutenant, the Earl of Dudley, and his wife paid a visit to Sharp & Emery's works in order to see specimens of Emery's Bossi work. Drew describes Emery as 'a thorough student of styles and periods of art, and versatile in adapting himself to them' with 'a refined sense of colour decoration'.

Henry Emery was married to Hannah (née Dixon) and had at least two sons: William, a wood-carver, who was born in Dublin on 24 November 1878, and Henry born in Dublin on 13 July 1880.(5)

Addresses: 17 Great Brunswick St,<=1900->=1930.
Home: 10 Belvidere Rd, <=1915->=1930



All information in this entry is from Thomas Drew's account of Emery in IB 45, 21 May 1903, 1755-6 and from Thom's Directory and The Post Office Dublin Directory for the years 1883, 1896, 1900, 1915, 1916, 1918, 1922, 1927 and 1930.

(1) In the entry on A.P. Sharp in Dublin, Cork and South of Ireland…Review (Stratten & Stratten, London, 1892), 76, it is stated that Emery 'has directed this branch of the business for fifteen years, and is conversant with every one of its most advanced artistic phases'.
(2) IB 26, 15 Oct 1884, 312.
(3) Paul Larmour, The Arts and Crafts Movement in Ireland (1992), 6.
(4) Larmour, op. cit., above, 75 (illus.).
(5) Information from www.familysearch.org.

2 work entries listed in chronological order for EMERY, HENRY *

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Date: 1887;1909-10
Nature: Reredos, executed by A.P. Sharp to designs by T. Drew with carving by H. Emery.
Refs: IB 29, 1 Mar 1887, 65; 31, 1 Jan 1889, 4,5(illus.)

Date: 1908a
Nature: Carved octagonal oak pulpit by Henry and William Emery.
Refs: Richard W. Chambers, St Patrick's Church, Castle Archdale: a centenary celebration (2008),107-111(illus.);  illus. in Claude Costegalde & Brian Walker, The Church of Ireland: an illustrated history (2013), 148.