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.
A lucky, if educated guess, and the help of the Birmingham Assay Office, has led to the rediscovery of Effie and Eleanor Ward, working together as jewellers/silversmiths. Their mystery E&EW mark was registered at the Birmingham Assay Office on 7th March 1902, exactly the same day as Bernard Cuzner and Alfred H Jones registered their mark – I assume they all went to the assay office as a group of friends. Effie is best known for her enamels and as assistant to Arthur and Georgie Gaskin. The mark is on a lovely, classic set of arts and crafts spoons. See more details at this link.