Furniture, porcelain and a lot more at Sworders' January auction of 20th Century design, in Essex.
PUBLISHED: 16:55 15 January 2019
Furniture, porcelain and a lot more at Sworders’ January auction of 20th Century design, in Essex.
William Arthur Smith Benson (1854-1924) was not just a designer and manufacturer of brass and copper lighting and other household objects.
As demonstrated by the rare, museum-quality side cabinet at Sworders’ 20th Century Design sale in Stanstead Mountfitchet on January 29, he was also a designer of furniture.
Benson is known to have produced furniture designs produced by a number of well-known Victorian firms - including Coalbrookdale and Shapland & Petter - but best recorded is his relationship with Morris & Co. The veneered mahogany cabinet with bold Arts and Crafts styled mounts dates from the 1890s - perhaps shortly before Benson became chairman of the firm after the death of William Morris in 1896.
The cabinet at Sworders, one of the few to have appeared on the market, carries an estimate of £10,000-£15,000.
The sale provides a complete cross-section of late 19th and 20th century design from Aestheticism to post-war Scandinavian Modernism.
A strong selection of objects from the Art Deco period includes a high quality copy of the bone-inlaid and parcel gilt ceremonial chair found in the tomb of Tutankhamen in 1922.
A splendid example of ‘Egyptomania’ - the fashion for all things ancient Egyptian that followed Howard Carter’s famous discovery - it dates from c.1925. It carries an auction estimate of £10,000-15,000.
The vendor of a pair of Clarice Cliff vases received them from her grandmother who recalls purchasing them from the Staffordshire factory c.1930 on the return journey from a summer holiday in Cornwall. The vases were in the so-called Football pattern - a semi abstract design that today embodies many of the features that Clarice Cliff collectors covet.
Although now with damage, the pair are expected to fetch £2,000-£3,000.
The core of the section of the sale devoted to post-war design includes a collection of more than 100 lots of Danish furniture and effects and 70-plus other lots.