For sale is this massive Gilbert Marks vase for Johnson, Walker and Tolhurst silver vase or cup signed by Gilbert Marks and dated ‘96, with London date letter “U” for 1895/6. It stands 32 cm tall and weighs nearly a kilo.
Gilbert Marks was perhaps the most skilled silversmith of his generation and in his short career produced some magnificent pieces of artistic silver. Even by these standards this is an exceptional, early, example of his work. The vase is decorated in repousse and chased silver with flowering poppies to the vase/cup’s bowl, with the base decorated with budding poppy flowers. It is a heavy gauge of silver and in excellent condition, the silver has retained the original patina and is a very good colour. It’s just a perfect example of his finest work.
The vase can be dated quite narrowly to early 1896. It must have been made/assayed not only prior to May 1896 when the London date letter shifted to a new series commencing with “a” for 1896/7 (assay date letters did not correspond to calendar years), but presumably was also marked before 14th March 1896 when Marks’ registered his own G.M mark at the London assay office.
Several contemporary journals of the period featured Marks’ work, and pieces like this described as “beakers” feature in an article on Gilbert Marks published in The Artist, July 1898 page 134.