A large Artificers Guild silver and copper box

Price range: £2,250

For sale is this lovely mixed metal, large, silver and copper biscuit box by the Artificers Guild. The copper body and lid are highlighted in silver with classic Artificers Guild motifs.  It is lined with tin to protect the biscuits freshness.

Originally catalogued by me as a tea caddy this Artificers Guild silver and copper “caddy”, is infact a biscuit box.  The original watercolour for this box can be found in the Artificers Guild Archive held at Goldsmiths Hall, Box G, item 2474.   It is initialled ES for Edward Spencer and in what is probably his handwriting says “of a size to hold a pound of biscuits”.  It is also inscribed “copper bronzed” in keeping with the patina still found on this piece.  The watercolour is shown in the images.
Remarkably, and only just come to light, is that an identical box (conceivably this one) features in a c 1960 film clip of Prime Minister Harold Macmillan’s office in Downing Street. It can be seen on the table behind him in “other images”.  This clip is from the BBC’s documentary “A history of modern Britain”, second episode. Thanks to Dave at for spotting this!  I have since found a still photo taken I think at the same shoot and published in the “Macmillan Diaries, 1957-1966” by Peter Catterall.

The box is not hallmarked, which would have been impossible under British assay rules, but is marked with model number 246.

It is in very good overall condition with great patina to the copper.

The Artificers Guild was originally established by Nelson Dawson along similar lines to Charles Ashbee’s Guild of Handicrafts but quickly changed ownership and from 1902 it’s chief designer became Edward Spencer who took over the firm as a limited company in 1909.

Maker: Artificers Guild

Designer: Edward Spencer (attrib)

Date :  c 1910

Marks: Not hallmarked, marked 246

Material: Sterling silver, copper

Condition: Very good

Size: 11 cm max diameter, 16 cm high

Weight : 524 grams, 18,5 oz (not silver weight)

SKU: A459 Category: