Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Price range: £1,000-5,000
For sale is this rather special silver and enamel box by William Thomas Blackband. Blackband was the pupil and then teaching assistant to Arthur Gaskin at Birmingham’s Vittoria Street School for Jewellers and Silversmiths, succeeding Gaskin as Principal from 1924-1946. Blackband exhibited widely at the leading exhibitions of the period and is renowned for his fine jewellery, typically in the arts and crafts style.
This box illustrates the progression of his work to a more modernist or deco style. Like his jewellery, it is of fantastic quality with a very complex cloisonne enamel design to the lid and a good gauge of silver.
It is one of those rare pieces that illustrates perfectly how the later arts and crafts silversmiths and jewellers (Blackband, Dunlop, Stabler, Murphy) bridged from arts and crafts to deco to modernism, laying the foundation for post war modernist British silver.
Condition is excellent and original. The lid is not perfectly fitting in all directions and there is some residual glue to the enamel edges that is probably not original but adding additional security to the plaque.
Maker: William Thomas Blackband
Designer: William Thomas Blackband
Marks: WTB, Birmingham, q
Material: Silver, enamel
Size: Diameter 12.5 cm, height 4.5 cm
Weight: 293 grams, 10.3 oz (inc enamel plaque)