A massive cache of British Arts and Crafts metalware and ceramics stored in a bank for over 25 years will be sold by Bonhams through their forthcoming decorative arts auctions.
The collection, described by Bonhams' director of design Mark
Oliver as "a bit of a treasure trove", was put together by the
vendor in the 1970s and '80s, a time of rich pickings for those
interested in British decorative arts in places like Antiquarius
and Camden Passage.
In 1989 he decided to stop buying and deposit his collection in
a bank vault as security for the future. Now he has decided to cash
in his Arts and Crafts 'pension pot' and consign it to auction.
As a result, Mr Oliver took possession of six metal trunks from
the bank to unpack in Bonhams' Knightsbridge rooms. They were
filled with around 500 pieces of silver and other metalwares and
Pilkingtons Lancastrian art pottery wrapped in newspaper from
He reckons over a third of the content is Liberty metalware, both silver and pewter from
their Tudric and Cymric ranges, with a strong input of designs by
Archibald Knox, a timely offering given this year marks the 150th
anniversary of Knox's birth. The collection covers the full Liberty
range, from gold and silver jewellery, candlesticks, spoons and
boxes to sugar sifters, napkin rings and clocks. There is also a
large selection of Newlyn and Pearson metalwares.
The first taster from the collection will go under the hammer on
June 18 when half a dozen key pieces of metalware will be included
in the sale of Decorative Arts from 1860 at New Bond Street.
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