Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Price range: £1,000-5,000
For sale is this vibrant set of six silver and enamel buttons by Alice Beatrice (Biddy) Waymouth (1884-1963). The enamel depicts, I believe, flowers in abstracted form. The buttons are not assayed but are a good gauge and each enamel is signed with Waymouth’s AW monogram. These buttons have direct provenance to Waymouth via her sister’s estate and descendants. The enamel appears to be onto silver, not copper, giving the buttons a particular luminescence. Condition is excellent and original with just minor original cooling cracks to the enamels on some of the buttons.
Alice Waymouth was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. She came to the UK in c 1902 where she learnt metalworking and enamelling at the Guild of Handicraft, it is said taught by George Hart. She returned to New Zealand for the 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition where she displayed a range of metal work and enamels to great acclaim. In 1911 she returned to the UK, marrying an Englishmen CJ Hughes and settled in Oxfordshire For more information see “The Arts and Crafts movement in New Zealand” by Ann Calhoun, pages 92-94 .
A similarly signed Waymouth pendant with an enamel butterfly appears in Sonya Newell-Smith’s book “Tadema Gallery, Jewellery from the 1860’s -1960’s” page 62.
The buttons date to c 1905.
Maker: Alice Waymouth
Designer: Alice Waymouth
Date : c. 1905
Marks: Enamel with monogram AW
Material: Silver (not tested), enamel
Size: Width 2.75 cm diameter
Weight: 0.3 oz, 9 grams for each button