For sale is this very special H G Murphy copper and silver mixed metal tea caddy. The main body is copper, decorated with pierced applied silver triangles. The lip of both body and lid are in silver. The main finial is a classic Murphy design using oxidised copper or silver, I am not sure which. The overall effect is a highly modernist art deco period piece. Mixed metal pieces in copper and silver like this are rare in British silver due to the restrictive UK assay rules at the time. Accordingly, the caddy is not hallmarked (mixed metal pieces could not be hallmarked) but does carry Murphy’s name and Falcon Studio’s mark.
Condition is very good. The piece retains much of its original patina. As you can see from images the body has developed a slightly brighter finish. There is no damage or repairs. For further information on H.G. Murphy see Paul Atterbury and John Benjamin’s “The Jewellery and silver of H.G. Murphy”. This caddy, believed to be unique, appears on page 123. It is not dated but was probably made c 1935.
There is perhaps a “nod” by Murphy to the celebrated late 19th century aesthetic work of Tiffany and their designer Edward C. Moore in choosing to design a tea caddy in silver and copper.
Maker: HG Murphy
Designer: HG Murphy
Date: c 1935
Marks: Not assayed, Falcon mark and “HG Murphy” stamp
Material: Sterling silver, copper
Condition: Very good
Size: 17 cm high
Weight : NM