Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
An unusual and wonderful box set with four blister pearls, each overlayed with flowers. Hallmarked for R.H Halford & Sons. Halford & Sons were an upmarket manufacturer and retailer, trading from Fenchurch Street, and, from 1903, 41 Pall Mall. They are known to have retailed William Hutton & Sons silver under their mark during the Edwardian period. Some of Kate Harris’ more elaborate and rare pieces made by William Hutton found there way to Halford’s – see A145 in the archive for a Hutton/Harris piece with Halford’s mark.
Looking at the design of this box, with its Hutton like feet, silver panels and applied silver strips to the lid, I have no doubt whatsoever that this is a Hutton piece from their London studio. I am attributing to Kate Allen based on the applied silver to the lid which I have seen on her work before, but it may be from another designer in that Studio, quite possibly Kate Harris.
Kate Allen was Hutton’s “other” London studio art nouveau designer alongside Kate Harris. Little is known of Allen though her work is reproduced in the Studio and other Journals of the period.
The box is beautifully made and a heavy gauge of silver. In very good condition, one blister pearl is showing slight wear / damage of little consequence.
Maker: William Hutton & Sons, hallmarked for Halford & Sons
Designer: Kate Allen (attributed)
Marks: R H & Sns, London, “g”
Material: Sterling silver, blister pearl
Condition: Very good. See images and description
Size: 7.0 cm tall, 12.0 diameter, 8.0 cm deep
Weight: 9.2 oz, 262 grams