Arts and crafts
Price range: £575
For sale is this massive arts and craft blister pearl silver brooch, 10.5cm long. A real statement piece and unusually sized for the arts and crafts period. The very large and good blister pearl is set in a deep silver surround edged with stylized foliage.
The brooch is unmarked but comes with what appears to be an original box intriguingly marked “J Greatbatch, Art Jewellers, Birmingham” The description as “Art Jewellers” typically suggests the jeweller was part of the thriving local art and crafts jewellery sector. My research into J Greatbatch suggests this was probably, briefly, the case. The firm were in fact established in 1798 but by c 1900 was run by third generation direct descendant Edwin Thomas Greatbatch (1849-1916). His son, William Thomas Greatbatch (1871-1958), assisted with the business alongside sisters Ada and Susan (1911 census). Thomas regularly appeared in The Studio Competitions and other periodicals as an artistic photographer. His sister Ada studied at the Birmingham School of Art, and appears alongside William H Creswick as a bronze medallist in the 1896 National Schools Art and Sciences Competition.
I cannot be sure who made this piece but the work is slightly crude which does make me think it may have been by Thomas Greatbatch or one of his sisters.
Condition of the silverwork and blister pearl is really excellent save that there is a repair to the silver edge (see images). I am confident this is original to manufacture.
Maker: Unknown / Greatbatch – see description
Designer: Unknown / Greatbatch – see description
Date : c 1905
Material: Sterling silver, blister pearl
Condition: Excellent. Original repair
Size: 10.5 cm long, 2.5 cm max width
Weight: 24 grams, 0.8 oz