Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
Price range: £650
For sale is this silver and enamel brooch by Alice Beatrice (Biddy) Waymouth (1884-1963). The enamel depicts, I believe, sweet pea flowers, appropriately for this listing, the birth flower for April.
Alice Waymouth was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. She came to the UK in c 1902 where she learnt metalworking and enamelling at the Guild of Handicraft, it is said taught by George Hart. She returned to New Zealand for the 1906 New Zealand International Exhibition where she displayed a range of metal work and enamels to great acclaim. In 1911 she returned to the UK, marrying an Englishmen CJ Hughes and settled in Oxfordshire For more information see “The Arts and Crafts movement in New Zealand” by Ann Calhoun, pages 92-94 .
The silver is unmarked but the enamel is signed with Waymouth’s AW mongramme. A similarly signed Waymouth pendant with an enamel butterfly appears in Sonya Newell-Smith’s book “Tadema Gallery, Jewellery from the 1860’s -1960’s” page 62.
The brooch is in excellent original condition and the quality of the enamel is very high, with careful foiling of the flower petals only. The influence of the Guild of Handicraft is clearly identifiable. The brooch dates to c 1905.
It has proven very difficult to photograph this brooch to its true, and brilliant, likeness. Hence, I have shown two sets of photos on black and white backgrounds. The flowers are a vibrant reflective range of colours from green leaves to purple flowers, against a saturated deep blue/purple background.
Maker: Alice Waymouth
Designer: Alice Waymouth
Date : c. 1905
Marks: Enamel with monogramme AW
Material: Silver (not tested), enamel
Size: Width 2.75 cm, height 3.75 cm