Art nouveau, Arts and crafts
For sale is this remarkable Kate Harris silver hand mirror. The design to the mirror’s back is a simply wondrous example of Kate Harris’ talent, with three maidens’ heads emerging from the silver in a very art nouveau, even symbolist, design, their hair then flowing down to form the handle decoration. This is continental European art nouveau at its very best – but by really the only British designer who seemed both artistically and commercially able to pull it off in the United Kingdom.
The mirror (silver and bevelled glass) are in excellent original condition with some rubbing to the marks. The mirror is stamped with design registration number 390695. Hutton registered this design for a toilet set on 6th May 1902 – see images.
Kate Harris was employed by the London studio of William Hutton & Sons to produce artistic silver from 1899 to c 1905. Harris was one of the very few women, or British exhibitors, to win recognition at the 1900 Paris International Exhibition. At the Paris Exhibition all her and Hutton’s work was displayed on the stand of the Goldsmiths and Silversmiths company.
For more information on Kate Harris, see Professor Stephen Pudney’s articles on her in the Decorative Arts Society Journal Vol 22 “A marriage of art and commerce: Kate Harris and the arts and crafts silverware of William Hutton & Sons” and Vol 39 “Katie Harris: Mystery Woman of English Art Nouveau”.
Maker: William Hutton & Sons
Designer: Kate Harris
Date: 1904 (probably)
Marks: WHSns, London, “i” (date letter hard to read)
Material: Sterling silver
Size: 16 cm max width, 28 cm high