Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Updated Saturday 9th December.
For sale is this remarkable silver spoon and butter or cheese knife. Beautifully made, each piece has an abalone crescent set to the terminal with unusual applied wirework and silver ball design.
The pieces are unmarked and not assayed but come with oral provenance that they were made by Ida Heynes, consigned to auction by her aged great nephew. Supporting that provenance, each piece carries an H design in applied silver wire work to the stem. The pieces were made in c 1930 and according to the family history Ida retailed through Harrods at this time.
The family history is very interesting as aesthetically these spoons are very much in the style of Mary Thew, and, re Harrods, it is documented that Edith Linnell had a case (or cases) of jewellery at the store.
So that brings two other makers into the frame but I personally am sticking with the family provenance. The spoon and knife are very like Thew’s work but in fact better made and a heavier gauge than most of Thew’s work that I have handled. As regards Linnell, the style is not hers, but that Harrods were selling artisan jewellery in the 30’s lends scope that Ida was selling their too, or perhaps worked for and assisted Linnell (who I have heard it said made no jewellery at all but was a designer/retailer only).
I have researched Ida Heynes (1886 – 1978), who was born into a middle class family in Maidenhead. She trained at Maidenhead Technical Institute (possibly also Grinstead College of Art and Chelsea College of Art by family repute) . In the 1911 census she is listed as an “Artist designer” and in the 1921 census is described as a “Modeller” for J Haddon & Co Art Works. Haddon’s were a printing and early advertising firm so at this time Ida was likely making models for commercial marketing.
After 1921 the trail goes cold. By family repute she later became a silversmith and jeweller selling her items through Harrods in the 1930’s though I can find no documentation on this.
Given the design of these pieces and that they were retained by the family I assume these were never for commercial sale.
Maker: Ida Heynes
Designer: Ida Heynes
Date: c 1930
Material: Sterling silver, abalone
Size: Knife: 17 cm long, 13.75 cm long
Weight: Knife: 30 grams, 1,1 oz. Spoon: 21 grams 0.7