For sale is this exceptional large Ashbee tazzas or fruit stand for the Guild of Handicraft. It is marked with Ashbee’s rare, early, CRA mark for London 1900.
The tazza is made of hand hammered, beautifully planished silver, and stands on six silver ball feet. The hexagonal stem is of pierced and chased stylised plants/leaves, each set with six green geometric enamel plaques. By combining these plain geometric enamels with more classical arts and craft silver, Ashbee has created a modernity to the design that lifts this piece from very good to great. It is a piece with beauty, soul and modernity.
A very similar design can be found in Ashbee’s “Modern English Silver Work”, plate 77, (see images) where he describes the design as an “epergne”.
This tazza is one of the larger pair of a group of four that have been in the Briggs family until acquired by the Peartree Collection. The two smaller tazzas, and one larger tazza, are now sold. The original owner was Arthur Currer Briggs (1855-1906), Mayor of the City of Leeds (1903-04) and Alderman of the City of Leeds (1904-06). He was an important patron of the arts and crafts movement, commissioning one of Voysey’s most important buildings, the Broad Leys, Lake Windermere, as his holiday home.
For more information on the Briggs family and these tazzas’ provenance see Sotheby’s lot 40, Treasures sale 3rd July 2019, at this link.
The condition of the tazza is excellent. There has been some restoration to the enamels.