The more traditional ‘country house’ club fender with buttoned green faux leather upholstery is a type that has seldom fallen from fashion.
It was of no great age, 20th rather than 19th century, but at the Antiques & Interiors sale at Halls (20% buyer’s premium) of Shrewsbury on October 7 it took £1550.
A rarer beast is the Arts & Crafts copper and brass fender that surfaced at Crow’s (22% buyer’s premium) in Dorking on November 4 with a guide of just £40-60.
Although only briefly catalogued, it was spotted by several parties as the work of the Hammersmith metalworker William Arthur Smith Benson (1858- 1924). Another is pictured in WAS Benson: Arts & Crafts Luminary and Pioneer of Modern Design by Ian Hamerton (2005). The hammer price was £5200.
A fender sharing the same frame and heart-shaped feet but set with repoussé copper plaques sold for £2000 at Woolley & Wallis in Salisbury in 2019. That model, which appears in the Catalogue of Lighting & Hollow-ware Designs, was by George Heywood Sumner (1853-1940), Benson’s college friend who later became his brother-in-law.
The pierced and repoussé-decorated fender offered at Lyon & Turnbull (25% buyer’s premium) as part of the Decorative Arts: Design since 1860 auction on November 2-3 was made at Fivemiletown in Co Tyrone, c.1895.
Patrick Larmour’s The Arts & Crafts Movement in Ireland (1992) pictures a similar example on the Fivemiletown Art Metalwork stand at the ‘Home Arts’ exhibition in London, 1897. Most of the designs were supplied by ex-Guild of Handicraft member John Williams.
This fender, with its panels of opposed squirrels with acorn branches, sold at £3800 (estimate £1000-1500).