Large Keswick School silver tea caddy or casket

This piece was exhibited at The Fundacian Juan March, which hosted the first ever arts and crafts exhibition in Spain, “William Morris and the Arts and Crafts Movement in Britain”. (October 6th to January 21st, 2018 at the foundation’s museum in the centre of Madrid. Barcelona from 22nd February to May 20th, 2018 at the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona.)

For sale is a rare and large Keswick School of Industrial Art’s solid silver tea caddy or casket.  This is one of the earliest known pieces by the School, being assayed for 1891, and one of the earliest known pieces of arts and crafts silver.  The design appears to be inspired by classical Roman images, most commonly seen in mosaics.  The birds on the side panels appear to be singing denoted by small engraved bubbles emerging from their beaks. As is not uncommon for Keswick pieces the maker’s details are scratched into the interior of the lid which reads “Made by Rob’t Temple, 1891”.  Robert Temple was one of the leading metal workers at the School at this time.  The caddy’s designer is not known but is possibly by Edith Rawnsley, wife of the founder of the School, Canon Hardwicke Rawnsley.

Price: £3,450

Maker: Keswick School of Industrial Arts / Robert Temple

Designer: Possibly Edith Rawnsley

Date : 1891

Marks: KSIA, Birmingham, date letter “r”

Material: Sterling silver

Condition: Excellent

Size: 11.5cm wide, 12cm high

Weight :  372 grams, 13.2 oz incl



See Ian Bruce “The Loving Eye and Skilful Hand” for further information on the KSIA and Dr S. Pudney, “The Keswick School of Industrial Art, An experiment in artistic philanphropy”, Silver Society Journal 2000.

An extract from an article in the Carlisle Express and Examiner, 12th April, 1890 is shown in the images.  It references a silver tea caddy by Robert Temple that may have been a similar earlier version of this.  A further caddy to the same design and dated 1889 has recently come to light with engraved workers signature of J F Banks.  John Fisher Banks was a trainee, later professional, photographer from Keswick who worked with the School at this time.