A Liberty & Co Cymric silver tea caddy with Ruskin pottery body, attributed to Oliver Baker

This piece brings together two heavyweights of the period, Liberty & Co and the Ruskin Pottery factory. Both innovators and leaders in arts and crafts design in their respective areas.  It incorporates a silver mounted large souffle glazed Ruskin honey pot (including original lid, model 38) with an enamelled silver lid set with fire opals and a central turquoise. The silver is fully hallmarked for Liberty & Co 1900/1.

The Ruskin pot is one of the earliest pieces of Ruskin pottery known, dating from before 1902. The souffle glaze pre dates Ruskins invention of his better know high fired flambe glaze.  In its day this would have been a rare and experimental pot which Liberty embellished.

The silver design is almost certainly by Oliver Baker. The link between Baker and The Ruskin factory, both based in Birmingham, was most likely through William Rabone Haseler, owner of the firm William Hair Haseler who made all Liberty’s Cymric silver. He was also President of The Birmingham School of Art of which Edward Richard Taylor, founder of the Ruskin factory, was headmaster.

The silver lid is fully hallmarked for Birmingham 1900 and the silver base for 1901, suggesting the piece crossed the assay year in July 1901. The Ruskin pot is marked with scissors and the numbers 14-6, conceivably for 14 June (1901).

Price : £5-10,000

Maker: Liberty & Co, Ruskin Pottery

Designer: Oliver Baker (attrib)

Date : 1900/1

Marks: Liberty & Co, Birmingham, date letter “a”, Cymric (base date letter “b”)

Material: Sterling silver, Ruskin pottery, fire opals, enamel

Condition: Excellent

Size: 14.5cm high, 10.5cm diameter

Weight : NM

SKU: A211 Category:


I know of only one other version of this design held by Crab Tree Farm museum, near Chicago.  The Victoria & Albert Museum has a collection of Ruskin souffle glazed pieces acquired in 1902 and hence also dated to this early period.  Further information is available at the website, which identifies the Ruskin pot as number 38 from c 1900 in the Ruskin range.

Additional information


Liberty & Co / Haselers


Sterling silver

Price range

£5,000 – £10,000


Art nouveau, Arts and crafts