For sale is this very attractive silver and enamel small vase by Laurence George Connell, the Cheapside based retailer of artistic silverware. Connells was 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 Celtic design of this vase clearly shows the art nouveau influence of Archibald Knox’s work for Liberty & Co. The designer of this vase eludes me. I think most likely it was designed by one of the London designers of William Hutton & Sons and retailed by Connell. Conceivably it is a Christine Connell design.
The enameling uses a particularly good range of colours and is original and in excellent condition. . The vase itself is also in excellent condition but note there are a few small patches of “broken fire” where the silver colour is showing brighter than the vase as a hole. Fully assayed for London 1906, the marks are clear but slightly rubbed.
Maker: Connells of Cheapside
Marks: LGC, London, “l”
Material: Sterling silver, enamel
Condition: Enamels excellent – see description
Size: 10 cm height, 9cm max diameter
Weight: 5.5 oz, 153 grams
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A Connells of Cheapside silver and enamel vase
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.