See Alan Crawford, “C.R. Ashbee, Yale University Press
Price range: £10,000+
For sale is this special Guild of Handicraft silver and enamel hexagonal box or tea caddy with subtle fish/dolphin repousse and chasing to the body, set with electric blue enamels. Hallmarked for 1900, this piece is from the Guild’s time in Essex House, London.
The fish design is in fact of stylized dolphins and harks back to the depiction of dolphins from the medieval period and seen on 17th and 18th century furniture and metalwork. It can be seen on a number of Ashbee pieces including the cup and cover on plate 74 and the hand mirror on plate 92, in Ashbee’s “Modern English Silverwork”. The depiction of dolphins smiling on this caddy is probably a direct play on real dolphins apparent smiling expressions.
The original enamels are in excellent unrestored condition. Full hallmarks to both base and lid are crisp.
Maker: Guild of Handicraft
Designer: Charles Ashbee
Date : 1900
Marks: GofH Ltd, London, date letter “e”
Material: Sterling silver, enamel
Size: 12.5 cm high, max 10 cm diameter
Weight : 11.4 oz, 322 grams