Silver

A Connells of Cheapside large silver art nouveau box

For sale is this very large silver box or caddy by William George Connell, the Cheapside based retailer of artistic silverware.  Connells were one of the earliest innovators in arts and crafts silver, being the only other exhibitor of such silver alongside Charles Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft in the Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society of 1893.

The stylized leaf design of this box retains some traditional aspects but the influence of art nouveau is also apparent.  The finial comprises four upright leaves.  This piece is confidently attributed to Christine Connell, William’s daughter (and Laurence Connell’s sister, not wife as is some times reported).  It is a heavy gauge of silver and in excellent crisp condition.  Fully assayed for London 1899 on both body and lid.

Price: £1,950

Maker:  Connells of Cheapside

Designer:  Christine Connell (attrib)

Date: 1899

Marks: WGC, London, “d”

Material: Sterling silver

Condition: Excellent.

Size:  15.5 cm diameter, 18.5 cm height

Weight:  22.4 oz, 634 grams

SKU: A512 Category:

Description

Connells of Cheapside were one of the earliest innovators in arts and crafts silver. Alongside Charles Ashbee’s Guild of Handicraft they were one of only two exhibitors of silver holloware at the 1893 Arts and Crafts Exhibition Society. By 1900 they were retailing goods by Kate Harris and slightly later, A E Jones. For more information see an article on Connells “Pioneers of Modern Artistic Silverware” by Dr Stephen Pudney in the Silver Society Journal page 223, Vol 11, 1999.

Mary Christine Connell was born in 1878, daughter of William George Connell who built up the family jewellery business on Cheapside.  She was sister to George Laurence Connell who jointly ran the family business with her after their father’s death in 1902.  Christine Connell was a well regarded art and metalwork teacher and arts and crafts silversmith and jeweller in her own right.  She is sometimes confused as the wife of Laurence Connell who married a much younger Christine Green (born 1892) in 1917.

Additional information

Period

Art nouveau, Arts and crafts