Birmingham’s silversmiths from the early 20th century feature in a major exhibition taking place at the Antiques for Everyone fair at the NEC, from 5 – 8 April 2018.
‘A Spoonful of Arts & Crafts in the UK’ is the title of this unique exhibition presented by Simon Moore, author of “Artists’ Spoons & Related Table Cutlery – A British History of Arts & Crafts Flatware”. The display will focus on Arts & Crafts spoon designs from the early 20th century, showcasing the work of many important and lesser known silversmiths working in and around Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
Many Arts & Crafts designers started out as architects, branched out into designing furniture, interiors and ultimately, kitchen and tableware. Birmingham, with its Assay Office, well-respected School of Design and network of silversmiths and factories, was pivotal in the story of Arts & Crafts design in the UK.
Among the Birmingham designers featured will be A.E. Jones, Bernard Cuzner, Robert Sidney Catterson-Smith, Arthur and Georgina Gaskin, Bernard Instone, Adolph Scott, Florence Stern, Robert Chandler and George Hunt and others from the Birmingham Guild of Handicrafts and the Bromsgrove School Guild. Also on show will spoons from Omar Ramsden, Archibald Knox, Oliver Baker for Liberty’s; Charles Ashbee and the Guild of Handicraft from the Cotswolds, the Dryad Metal Works in Leicester and the Keswick School of Industrial Arts.
It was also a time for the ascendancy of craftswomen, who designed jewellery and small silver as well as other media, and came to be recognised as equal, often outshining their male peers.
Simon Moore, a Conservator of Natural Sciences and Cutlery Historian, will be speaking about his passion for Arts & Crafts cutlery in daily seminar talks at the fair.
Antiques for Everyone
Known across the world for its variety of exhibits, Antiques for Everyone is an essential buying source for collectors, interior designers, decorators and anyone with an interest in fine art and period design.
Around 200 specialist dealers take part in a fair that is divided into two distinct areas, one providing an elegant showcase for the finest and rarest pieces, including traditional furniture, Asian works of art, the Decorative Arts, British and European paintings and 20th century designer pieces; the second a prime sourcing marketplace of stands with Scandinavian furniture, glass and ceramics, vintage jewellery, textiles, the earliest English pottery, porcelain, folk art, watercolours antiquarian maps and prints.
The Decorative Arts is one of the most popular collecting areas at the fair. Specialists, of which there are many, are full of praise for the fair. David Hickmet of Hickmet Fine Art, London, a specialist in Art Deco and Art Nouveau bronze sculpture and glass, sells to private collectors from across the country. Says David: ‘This is always one of our best fairs – very busy throughout and where we meet so many clients old and new.’
Others include Jeroen Markies, specialising in furniture, bronzes and lighting; Morgan Strickland Decorative Art showcasing Arts & Crafts and Art Nouveau silver; Scandinavian by Design, showing Mid-Century furniture and lighting; Shine on Design with Art Deco furniture and lighting; Lynways, specialising in Scandinavian pottery and furniture; and Andrew Muir, showing Clarice Cliff, Moorcroft and Italian studio pottery.
On his bright and colourful stand, Deco Dave shows lighting; Solo Antiques offer Art Nouveau and Art Deco bronze sculpture and glass; Keith Richards Antiques specialises in silver; ArtDecoArt has original French prints from £25, fine clocks and silver; and James Strang shows an esoteric display of rare Scottish Arts & Crafts, furniture, glass and pictures.
Around the galleries, traditional 19th century and 20th century watercolours mix with contemporary works and sculpture of all periods. Art of the Imagination show works by illustrators, A.J.Art sells Northern and Midland industrial scenes and Stephen Welbourne Fine Art specialises in traditional English watercolours.
The fair is also well known for its wide range of 19th and 20th century jewellery. Plaza, Greenstein Antiques, Daryl Gigg, Scarab, Anderson Jones; Shapiro & Co, Grasilver (specialising in Georg Jensen and Scandinavian pieces) and Dansk Silver offer a wide range of pieces and prices.
Celebrity Talks will be held daily from experts including: Judith Miller,one of the world’s leading experts in antiques & collecting and known worldwide for the Millers Guide book and Will Farmer, dealer, writer and BBC Antiques Roadshow expert in Ceramics, Glass and Decorative Arts.
Antiques for Everyone is a vetted fair by a team of ninety experts assembled to ensure that exhibits are professionally presented and accurately labelled.