20th century silversmiths

Words by:
William Gregory MRICS Golding Young and Mawer
Featured in:
August 2017

Silver makes a regular appearance at auction. The vast quantity of good quality functional pieces produced in the nineteenth century means the sale catalogues are rarely without a silver tea service or candlestick. In the early twentieth century this trend of production continued but a small number of silversmiths and designers have made their mark. Works of three of these designers recently came up for auction at The Bourne Auction Rooms.

Omar Ramsden and Alwyn Carr were both born in Sheffield in 1873 and 1872. Having studied at the Sheffield School of Art and the Royal College of Art they set up in partnership in Chelsea in 1898. The pieces they produced are from the Arts and Crafts movement inspired by the Renaissance, and gothic motifs with Celtic inscriptions.

Stuart Devlin was born in Australia in 1931. In 1958 he came to study at the Royal College of Art and later opened a workshop in London. His work was influenced by north European design of function and form, incorporating textures and gilt filigree. Throughout his career he produced specialist pieces, receiving many major commissions including coins for the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games. Among the pieces offered at the recent Bourne auction the top price went to Lot 2, a Ramsden and Carr chalice, selling for £2,200.

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