The Potteries Guild

I have been doing a little research into the Potteries Guild (also the Potteries Cripples Guild of Handicraft) , the forerunner of the Duchess of Sutherland Cripples Guild, and came across a 1904 newspaper reference (November 4th, The Clarion, page 5) “That the best work of the Potteries Guild is undoubtedly that made for the “Frame Food Factory“. Curious, I found that the Frame Food Factory was/is an outstanding building in Southfields SW18, built c 1903, to make baby food, now converted into flats. More details at this link. I have found no pictures of the interior but I assume the sculptural roof finials or spires visible in the images below are by The Potteries Guild.

New book published

A wonderful new book has been published by the collector John Davis “20th Century British silver caddy spoons and spoons”. The introduction being by myself and published below. If you are interested in a copy simply email me.

New Dawson sketches found

For those that know the Artificers Guild archive held at Goldsmith Hall Library, it contains thousands of wonderful sketches and water colour designs of the Guild. Nearly all are clearly by Edward Spencer and John Bonnor and date from the period after 1909 when Spencer took over the Guild. On a recent trip to the Archive I found this sketch of what is very clearly Nelson and Edith Dawson brooches. These must date to c 1901/2 in the brief period when the Dawson’s established the Guild and prior to 1902 when Spencer and Montague Fordham took over. It strongly suggests that at least some of these pieces were not “just” by the Dawsons but also by the Artificers Guild and based on the inscribed notes made in multiples – in this case of two and four. Photo credit “Artifcers Guild Archive,ref AC/1/1/1/3/114. Courtesy of the Goldsmiths Company Library and Archive”

Single contact telephone number

If you wish to reach me by phone please just use my mobile 07771965808. The old office landline is no longer in use.

Thank you Anthony

New Silver Society website launched

I am delighted to advise that the new Silver Society website is now launched with many new features for members and non members. Top of this list would be the archive of the Silver Society Journal that is now digitized and searchable for all to use. See this link to explore the new website.

Henry Littledale

The family of Henry Littledale (see A1024) have been in touch with some more information about him. It is clear that in addition to silver and jewellery he was also firing very fine cloisonne enamel plaques using his patented granulation technique. Also included is this charming letter from Queen Mary that was written by her lady in waiting, giving thanks for a silver and enamel frame Littledale made for the Queen’s doll’s house. If you have further information on Littledale I, and the family, would love to hear about it.

Fake Liberty Knox silver frames

Over the the years I have had so many questions about fake Liberty frames I thought I would blog on the subject. As best I can tell Cymric Liberty silver frames “copying” a superb Knox mirror in the Virginia Museum of Fine Art were made in the US in the 1990’s in quite large numbers. These have very good, but fake, hallmarks and can easily deceive on that basis. Better to look at the relatively poor enamelling and quality of the silver work which are more obviously “wrong”. Quite helpfully an example is currently up at auction which includes the stamp “REPRO”, no doubt for “Reproduction”, honestly outing itself for what it is – though reproducing assays marks, or selling items with fake marks, in the UK is a serious criminal offence. See images.

Peartree Collection in this week’s Antiques Trade Gazette

The recent discovery of an important John Paul Cooper bowl is covered in this week’s Trade Gazette. Please see extract. The bowl or goblet will be listed for sale in due course. See this link to read about the candlesticks mentioned and to see a photo of the bowl at the 1903 Arts and Crafts Society Exhibition.