Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
For sale is this really remarkable modernist teapot. It is made by Godfrey Gardner with his makers mark GHG for London 1977.
Godfrey Gardner is a working silversmith and jeweller who trained at the Cass School of Art in the early 1970’s. He has helped me document the provenance and inspiration of this teapot and you can see more about Gardner at this link.
The teapot was a commission for a wedding gift and made in 1976. The first remarkable thing about this teapot is that it was made in John Paul Cooper’s workshop. At the time Godfrey was working with Francis Cooper, John Paul’s son, using the longstanding Cooper family workshop in Kent.
The second remarkable aspect of the teapot is the lid. This depicts a mermaid, her tail rising to form a handle by which to lift the lid. Godfrey has told me he was very taken by Arthur Rackham’s drawings at the time and this inspired the mermaid design, most clearly evident in the design of her hair. There is a frieze of chased waves to the teapot body.
Finally you have the shape of the teapot and its very striking wooden handle. This is pure modernism and, for 1976/7, an early example – very different and, dare I say it, more innovative, than the typical English work at the time by Devlin and others.
I love that this piece bridges the arts and crafts and art nouveau movements all the way to the mid 1970’s.
Condition is excellent, with just some scratches to the body of the teapot, of no great significance..
Maker: Godfrey Gardner
Designer: Godfrey Gardner
Marks: GHG, London, “C”
Material: Silver, wood
Size: 13.5 cm high exc wood handle, 19.0 cm max width
Weight : 17.8 oz, 505 grams