See Alan Crawford, “C.R. Ashbee, Yale University Press
Price range: POA [Reserved]
For sale are these two exceptional large Ashbee tazzas or fruit stands for the Guild of Handicraft. They are marked with Ashbee’s rare, early, CRA mark for London 1900.
The tazzas are made of hand hammered, beautifully planished silver, and stand on six silver ball feet. The hexagonal stems are of pierced and chased stylised plants/leaves, each set with six green geometric enamel plaques. By combining these plain geometric enamels with more classical arts and craft silver, Ashbee has created a modernity to the design that lifts these pieces from very good to great. It is a piece with beauty, soul and modernity.
A very similar design can be found in Ashbee’s “Modern English Silver Work”, plate 77, (see images) where he describes the design as an “epergne”.
These tazzas are the larger two of a group of four that have been in the Briggs family until acquired by the Peartree Collection. The two smaller tazzas are now sold. The original owner was Arthur Currer Briggs (1855-1906), Mayor of the City of Leeds (1903-04) and Alderman of the City of Leeds (1904-06). He was an important patron of the arts and crafts movement, commissioning one of Voysey’s most important buildings, the Broad Leys, Lake Windermere, as his holiday home.
For more information on the Briggs family and these tazzas’ provenance see Sotheby’s lot 40, Treasures sale 3rd July 2019, at this link.
The condition of the tazzas is excellent. There has been some restoration to the enamels.
Maker: Guild of Handicraft
Designer: Charles Ashbee
Date : 1900
Marks: CRA, London, date letter “e”
Material: Sterling silver
Condition: Excellent, restoration to enamels
Size: 23 cm diameter, 23 cm high.
Weight : 24 oz, 750 grams each