I have about twelve buckles for sale in the Collection (excluding those sold) and have just added two absolutely excellent ones by Liberty and Anton Michelsen. It is fair to say they are not terribly practical objects, although I know a very elegant lady who frequently sports an Oliver Baker buckle to great effect. They are however perfect examples of the era, usually encapsulating some of the best, most creative designs of the period and often mixing silver with stones and enamel. If you want to create a vibrant, small, and relatively affordable collection of arts and crafts silverware, I commend them to you.
As a footnote I am delighted to have recently assisted in the sale of a very rare and valuable Georg Jensen dragonfly buckle, more information here
I have just listed several new items by Charles Ashbee, bought privately and with direct provenance back to the Guild of Handicraft in 1900. Despite my ambivalence towards silver plate, I am particularly taken by a really beautiful pair of vegetable dishes listed here
The pieces have direct provenance to Arthur Currer Briggs who acquired the pieces in c. 1900. Briggs was an outstanding patron of the arts and crafts and besides purchasing items from Ashbee and supporting the major Leeds Arts and Crafts Exhibitions, he commissioned one of Voysey’s most important houses Broad Leys on Lake Windermere.
I have finally researched successfully Alfred Edward Bonner, the silversmith and enameller with makers mark AEB. He was born in Norfolk in 1862 to a farming family. In the 1891 census, at the age of 29, Bonner was living at home with no occupation given. By the 1901 census (and after his father’s death in 1898) he is boarding in London and gives his occupation as an “artist painter” By the 1911 census he is in Kensington and listed as an “Artist metalworker”. In 1912, at the age of 50, he married Mary Wright, a minor aristocrat. Based on the absence of hallmarked Bonner pieces after c 1918 it is assumed he retired from metalwork at that time. He died in Scotland in 1943, having lived for much of his later years in Limpley Stoke, Wiltshire. He was childless.
Bonner was one of those small group of arts and crafts silversmiths who flourished prior to 1914. He was described by the Studio in 1904 as a “designer of and worker in silver and jewellery” based in Kensington. He was clearly also a skilled enameller and wrote an article on enamelling for “Arts & Crafts” Journal vol 2, 1905, from which I have reproduced what I believe is a previously unknown photo of Bonner see link
Just in time for Christmas I have added a fantastic collection of Gaskin and other arts and crafts jewellery to the site. Acquired privately, the collection was put together over the past twenty years.
The Peartree Collection is featured in this week’s (September 21st) Antiques Trade Gazette. The sale at the LAPADA Fair of The Collection’s Gilbert Marks’ plates is highlighted. See article extract below.