Arts and crafts
Price range: Sold
For sale is this lovely Artificers Guild silver napkin ring designed by John Maurice Bonnor. The curved face of the ring set with two good green chrysoprase stones and a medallion of two young children representing gemini. All elements highlighted with wirework.
Whilst the napkin ring is unmarked the signed and dated design drawing for the gemini medallion is held by the Goldsmith Hall Archive. The date is 18th January 1906. The design is also illustrated in Simon Moore’s book “Artists spoons and table cutlery” page 191 where the motif is shown as part of a set of designs for zodiac spoons. Condition is very good with just a slight loss of detailing to the faces on the medallion due to rubbing.
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.
John Haughton Maurice Bonnor (1875-1917) was the Guild’s second designer renowned for producing some of their most exciting jewellery in particular. He trained as an architectural draughtsman before being taught by Henry Wilson, with whom he forged a lifelong friendship, at the Central School of Arts and Crafts. From 1905, he was head of the metal workshop at the Artificers’ Guild before setting up his own metalwork, jewellery and stained glass, mosaic and sculpture studio with his wife, Nancy Agar, in 1908. For further information see “John Houghton Maurice Bonner: A little known designer of the Arts and Crafts Movement”, by Muriel Wilson, The Journal of the Decorative Arts Society 1850-the Present, No 28 (2004), pp. 108-125.
Maker: Artificers Guild
Designer: John Maurice Bonnor
Date : c 1906
Marks: Not marked
Material: Sterling silver, chrysoprase
Condition: Very good
Size: 4.2 cm max diameter, 2.6 cm width,
Weight : 28 grams, 1.0 oz